Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The road goes ever on and on: Kalahari dreams

Road signs!

Oasis in the desert:Van Zylsrus hotel
 The road has called, and we must go.

Shahnaz’ mother had read our blog, and felt that she had to share our Africa. And Tante Renate had heard of the Namibian experiences, and wanted to follow up on a long-forgotten planned holiday to this ex-German colony.

Bat ear foxes
We set out, on a bright March morning, on the long road west, first to Kuruman, but due to a golf tournament there was no room at the inn or at any of the guest houses there. So we turned north, stopping for a photo opportunity at Hotazell which was rather cool, all things compared. Then we had a little argument between GPS, paper maps and road works, but by late afternoon we found the Van Zylsrus Hotel.

A pleasant oasis this turned out to be, a small town in the great Kalahari, conscious of the weight of the dryness, the ever-threatening drought. Hard land, friendly people, good food.

Peace, brothers!
Early the next morning we set out to Twee Rivieren, which my GPS insisted was in Botswana, and by late morning we had checked out of South Africa and into the Kgalagadi Transfrontier park.

Fortunately we were not camping, as the easter holiday crowd had started arriving: imposing assemblies of technology, with drivers of varying degrees of expertise. Overseas tourists with rented campers and 4X4 vehicles with rooftop tents made us wonder at the likelihood that they would get stuck…. But all seemed to be enjoying themselves.

We wondered at this scene. Was the dead giraffe the
little one's mother?
And we saw lots of animals in the three days we were there. Including a cheetah that we had heard had been unsuccessful in her hunt the previous day. We met her, trotting determinedly towards a water course where we knew there was a large herd of springbok, but we could not see the chase that we knew would follow.

Then we entered Namibia, with pleasant officials at the border, passed a relaxing night at Gochas, in the Auob river lodge, and then visited Isabis, to experience the authentic hospitality of this country, and see the breathtaking scenery found there.

And on to Windhoek, for some cultural soaking, but also the National Day, so many things were closed.

Hunting cheetah

And lunch on the hoof.

Tante Renate's birthday

Verdant Namibia, despite a low rainfall. 

And where can you see a better sight?
His Majesty had had enough of tourists

And so has Her Majesty
But the courtiers could not care less

No comments:

Post a Comment