Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Hunting for lions

We went up to Hluhluwe this past weekend to start fixing and cleaning and getting ready for the move at the end of the month. We also needed to take Mehlo Shoba, our new caretaker, gardener and general factotum to look after the place for the next two weeks.

I wanted him to see the bigger picture regarding the park, conservation and the fact that his job, as well as the jobs of thousands of others, are all closely interlinked with the park. He had never seen any of the large animals before.It was not long after we entered the park at the Nyalazi Gate that we ran into this young fellow who was really just showing off.

It was late afternoon when we were approaching the Memorial Gate when we ran into this handsome rhino. The reddish colour is from the mud that she wallowed in.

We spent our first night at the guesthouse. Getting up early was a treat as the abundant birdlife seemed to put on a special show for us after the grey day before. The scarlet chested sunbird is particularly special to me.

Large parts of the park has had seasonal fires. How many were managed and how many were accidental, I do not know, but the areas affected are huge. It makes for some rather dramatic photographs.

At four in the afternoon we dashed back to try and find some lion for Mehlo, but no luck. The park closes at six in winter, so we had to dash to make it back to the gate before it closes.

So we headed back home (home? I already feel that the guesthouse is my home) and got to bed early as we were quite exhausted and intended getting up early to hunt those elusive lions.

No lions, but we did see this gorgeous brown hooded kingfisher.

On our way back to the house we passed a piece of land where the burnt veld makes a wonderful contrast to the pale trunks of the fever trees.
And immediately I remembered where I have seen something similar before.

The weaving is an art project my daughter did in grade 11. It hangs in the stairwell in the house in Durban. I think I am going to miss seeing it every day.

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