At the Lion Park in Joburg
Chief Dahbazee aka Joey Smith at Lesedi Village
Leaving Michelangelo reception, going to Pigalle Restaurant
My Suite at Thornybush Lodge
Indoor/Outdoor Shower– My Thing
Tub with Bath Crystals
Arrival at Kruger
Sighted on 1st Evening Drive
The Sundowner Stop on the Drive
1st Nights Dinner – The Boma
My Private Plunge Pool
6am Morning Sunrise from My Bed
It was time to say farewell to Joburg until next year as we prepared for a new and exciting adventure. Before leaving, the group spent the day at Lesedi Cultural Village where they learned all about tribal life as it once was and then were treated to a bountiful feast. Some remember Joey and Susie Smith of San Francisco, who were on the Greek Isle cruise 2013 he led the group in all the new line dances, then 2015 on the Montreux/North Sea Jazz tour; I don’t remember what he did but I know he cut up, and then 2016 Australia/New Zealand he did that remarkable dive off the yacht; well somehow he managed to get in the chief’s chair at Lesedi and his new name is “Chief Dahbazee”. Joey is quite a guy, a stranger to no one!! After the Lesedi visit, a few wanted to visit the Lion Park to get up close and personal and pet a few. I love to see individuals venture out on their own
The next morning, we prepared for Kruger beginning with our 1 hr flight to Hoedsprit. They all had been briefed that there was a strict 20kg (44 lbs) weight limit on the 1 checked bag and a carry on not to exceed 7kg (15 lbs) but we said 11 just to make sure all would be in compliance. This was no joke. In 7 years my “World Traveler” carryon had never been separated from me on any flight but I knew I would be forced to give her up on this small aircraft at “sky check”. That’s when they take your carry on at the aircraft to store in the baggage compartment. I sucked it up and got through the separation, After all it was a short flight.
Another “no joke’ was the damn airport. It’s not big as a minute and the collection of luggage, well another no joke. We waited outside in the hot sun waiting for a tractor to bring it to us and then we identified ours and it was loaded onto the 3 vehicles that would transport us — another freaking hour to the camp. I was beginning to feel a little “Jim Jones-ish”. No, not my boy the rapper but the Rev. (With tractor on the air strip and the Kool aid ). You all already know, this was not my cup of kool aid and most definitely not the Kat’s Meow. Our driver, wanted to stop so we could take pictures as we passed all kinds of animals. That was cool but I had to tell him, ““look, let’s keep it moving, we have some place to be”. Plus I was thinking about my hot stone massage appointment I went through so much trouble to make. I sure did not want to miss that.
After arriving at the camp, we were given an orientation and then served a very delicious lunch. I quickly cut and headed for the spa. It was truly what the doctor ordered. Later we met our Rangers and Trackers. Wow! What a team we had. Bradley and our Tracker was Orlando, a brother who was amazing. At one point he left us, set out on foot to find the leopard we had briefly sighted, He didn’t find that one but he did find one. Nice job!!! Then we saw a pride of Lions —- about 8, the king and his boys on the prowl in search for food. Who would it be???
Tonight dinner would be at a “Boma”, around an open camp fire. Boma- dates back to pre-colonial Africa when native groups such as Zulu & Xhosa used wooden fences to enclose livestock and fortify family homesteads. A few of us watched workers set up the buffet and Mama Africa, an elderly woman was unbelievable doing her normal routine with at least 5 bowls on top of her head. Dinner was amazing: salads, soup, grilled veggies, beef fillet with this mild creamy horseradish, sausage, chicken skewers all from the grill with chef Brotha Man doing his thing.
You already know, I had a date with the outdoor shower under the midnight African sky. Trina from Boston wanted to experience it but was apprehensive because she heard monkeys and baboons on her roof earlier in the day. I tried to convince her to go for it but I knew a little monkey business would not stop this Kat.
After my wonderfully, hot shower I put on the warm velour robe provided and then realized Ole scaridy Kat was in this huge family suite by myself. Damn, usually I have a room mate…..It would not be “lights out” tonight but definitely “lights on”; every last one of them. One day my prince will come along to enjoy this game reserve experience with me. He knows who he is. I’m patient.
This morning, while the group went on the early morning drive, I watched the African sunrise from my bed. In a few hours, after breakfast, back to the spa for me for the Jewel of Africa treatment —- crystals and warm oils for 90 mins. After lunch and before the evening drive, there will be Congo Bridge (bid whist) and champagne on my deck.
Needless to say, all are having the time of their lives. Tomorrow morning, after the Game Drive and breakfast, we fly to my beloved CAPE TOWN.