Umzumbe - Jump 2

Trip Start Dec 27, 2008
Trip End Jun 27, 2009

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Flag of South Africa  , KwaZulu-Natal,
Saturday, January 24, 2009

Umzumbe is one stop before the more fashionable Warner Beach, but we've had good luck at these less travelled towns so we got off early (plus there's a particularly arrogant Aussie stopping at Warner Beach). We arrived around 8pm at Mantis and Moon, this is probably our best hostel so far. It's set in a jungle of banana trees, swimming pools and boardwalks, very cool. The bar is lively with pool, darts and a casino. Our room is a wood cabin with a canopy roof and an outdoor bathroom (nothing like being shat on by birds and lizards while you shower!) The mozzy situation is hectic but after using half a can of Deet and burning four or five coils we are winning the battle, though my chowed legs suggest otherwise.

On our first night we got well oiled in the bar and met some cool people. Having a bar tab is very dangerous and there were a few sore heads in the morning. First day we went to the beach and watched the surfers, especially a few local black kids who were totally amazing and outshined all the cool-dude whiteboys. I had a swim in the choppiest sea ever, it was so powerful, great surfing conditions. Another evening in the bar followed.

The second morning was spent listening to a German couple moan and moan that we were too noisy in the bar the previous night (we probably were). I felt like saying "This is a hostel buddy, not the chuffin' Ritz", but I refrained. We were on a shuttle with them and a hostel worker to the Eland Game Reserve and the Oribi Gorge. The hostel worker got a right earful, so we privately badmouthed these wet blankets with him, at least they didn't have a headache. The Game Reserve was a good taster of what's to come at Umfolozi. There was Giraffe, Zebra, Monkey and five or six species of Antelope (Blesbok, Impala, Eland). We witnessed an Eland escape through the wire fencing, it got freaked out being cornered by our van, so off trotted around R5000 worth of Antelope, woops! Sightings were a bit scarce though, the reserve isn't particularly well stocked for cost reasons and the chance of seeing the Leopards is massively unlikely, alas we didn't see them. 

After lunch we went to the Oribi Gorge and walked the creaky suspension bridge. The gorge is huge and the bridge provided awesome views, if you dared cross it. Then we went to Lehr's falls where I did a bungy swing across the gorge. Whereas the bungy at Tsitsikamma is secured around your feet, this is attached around the waist. There's an eighty metre freefall towards the rocks below, then you swing out across the gorge. It was almost as scary as the previous bungy though not half as high. I think it was a combination of the lack of safety talks, ancient equipment, jagged rockface below and painted outline of human corpse at the bottom that did it. As you are winched back up you have to kick away from the waterfall as it hoists you into the water, so I got wet feet too. You then very scarily hang above the drop while they attach you to the safety cord and pull you back to the rock. I'd consider it a bargain at R350 (25 quid). I just can't drive past a bungy without doing it, sorry Mum.  

Final day we chilled at the hostel playing with the Labrador puppy, waiting for the Bazbus.
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Where I stayed
Mantis and Moon
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