Chased by Buffalo

Trip Start Feb 24, 2010
Trip End Mar 11, 2010

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Flag of South Africa  , Limpopo,
Monday, March 8, 2010

Pafuri Camp March 8 from Barbara

The next morning we began early and within moments of starting we had encountered a huge number of impala, baboons and kudu. At the bridge over the Luvuvhu we spotted hippos at the edge of the river, a crocodile, and went on to see a huge herd of elephants (who we would encounter again).  Edward our guide did a wonderful job not only finding the animals but also explaining the flora and fauna of the region.  Eddie is a black South African of the Makuleke tribe who had previously been a member of the anti poaching team before coming to the Pafuri Camp so he gave us insights into plants as his people used all manner of plant materials for medicinal and culinary purposes.  Mel and I asked one of the guides, Callum, to take us on an afternoon hike since we wanted to see the terrain on a more leisurely level.  We went out and almost immediately saw leopard poop – very dark from the blood of it's last kill and when moved about with a stick – full of hair – this is the real call of the wild.  We were given very serious instructions from Callum, the key points were that we were to do exactly what he told us (he was carrying a serious bolt action elephant gun) and if he said to run – we were to run.  Soon thereafter we encountered a herd of Cape buffalo – which seem reasonably harmless but they aren’t.  We snuck up on them but they caught wind (literally) of us and Callum said run and we hightailed it out of there!  They followed – my heart was beating hard when this was over but it was SO exciting.

From Mel
 The safari portion of our trip was the part I have most been looking forward to, and it has exceeded my every expectation.   It is very real, very natural, very beautiful, and very exciting.   It is also very hot…Africa hot… so we are happy for the afternoons off to laze about (like the animals) and take it easy.   No internet and limited power too, so we’ve been remiss in getting the blog up (this has also been liberating and relaxing…for me anyway).  The camp and game drives are  just perfect….it is like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.   Our guide Eddie drives us through the brush at a pretty quick clip, occasionally stopping, backing up, checking dung piles and tracks and sniffing the air.   His eyes are incredible; he can spot an owl in a tree 100 yards away, a bushbuck giving birth in the tall grass in the distance, and the tips of a hippo's ears as he walks across the riverbed.  What you and I would take for leaves, sticks, dirt, and debris, Eddie sees as another wildlife encounter just waiting for us to enjoy.  He is very knowledgeable about zoology and being native to the area folklore and customs.  He keeps us engaged with tests and teasing.   He has the perfect audience with Barbara and me and we’ve formed a strong bond during our visit.
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