Saturday, 30 March 2013

Khame Ruins

Taxi rank, Bulawayo

On this Saturday of Easter weekend I decided to go and visit the Khami Ruins, which lay about 20 km out of Bulawayo. Eric, an American I briefly met when I arrived in Packer's Rest in Bulawayo, told me he hired a taxi to get there and back which cost him a total of USD 120. That's quite a lot of money to visit some old ruins. I thought I'd try to get there by minibus commuter.

When I got to the taxi rank, I was told I need to go to Pumula and from there to what I understood as Khami Precinct, but turned out to be Khami Prison. From there I would have had to take a taxi. The driver of the commuter to Pumula told me he thought I wanted to go to the End Message congregation when I told him my plans and asked for directions in Pumula. He offered me to drive me to the ruins for USD 20, telling me there was no public transport going there and barely any other vehicles anyway.
I accepted and it was a good idea too as we drove on dirt roads without any traffic at all. He said they (he and the operator) could wait for me at the ruins until I wanted to go back if we could agree on a price. When asking him how much they made in a day, he said about USD 120 to 140. He said for 2 or 3 hours of waiting he would ask me USD 80, but I counter offered USD 60 and he agreed quickly. It was still fairly expensive, and I probably should have started lower.

The city had been built by Shona people between the 15th and 18th century. They had migrated from Great Zimbabwe where they had built a city too. The remains are the places where the higher ranking people like, king, princes, politicians and so on resided. Between the different ruins, which are quite widespread, the people had lived in huts or rondavels like they are called in ZA. The buildings had multiple entries/exits. One was for the residing people, and another was for the women and/or staff.

After about one and a half hour I was finished visiting. We drove back to Pumula and started taking on people. They wouldn't leave a chance to make money on top of my hiring them. Some of them wanted to sit in front where I was sitting, but the driver and operator always made them go to the back telling them it was a “special hire” and that I should be left alone in the front seat. I wasn't unhappy about it. At some point a child shouted “Kiwe!” which is Ndebele and has the same meaning as the Chope/Shagaan “Mulungu” and the Shona “Murungu”.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Matobo's


The Matobo's is a park with a large number of rounded boulders which resemble bald round heads from which the name comes from. At a site now called World's View by Cecil John Rhodes, founder of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), his remains lay in a stone grave with two of his fellow companions of the time.

I booked a tour to the Matobo's (or Matopo's in foreign languages) from my accommodation in Bulawayo, The Packer's Paradise. At first I was told I would be alone, and that it would cost me USD 150. If I could find at least another person it would then cost USD 120 per person. On the day before, I visited Bulawayo, and at the end of the day decided to go to the natural history museum, which turned out to be a great idea. There I met Claire, an American who is traveling with her friend Thomas and who was keen to visit the Matobo's. They wanted to go anyway, but where told there were only groups of more than 30 people going out the next two days. As it seems, the different operators don't speak with one another. So I explained her my case, and asked her to join me on the
tour. So we went back to my accommodation to book the tour. The following morning, the staff were making food preparation for the tour when Luis came in. He just came out of the bus from Vic Falls and was keen to visit the Matobo's, so I invited him to join our little group, which he did.

Luis quickly had some breakfast and then we drove off with Owen and Kempton, our two guides for the day. The Matobo's National Park lays only about 40 kms south of Bulawayo and we reached it less than an hour and one roadblock later. We started with some shrine where all kind of people from all kind of places were cremated and their ashes buried there. After that we drove on and visited some cave paintings from the San Bushmen, between 5000 and 10000 years ago. It seems they are the same kind of paintings as those of the Brandberg Mountain where the White Lady is (refer to my trip to Namibia in 2010).

Then it was time to go have a view of Cecil John Rhodes' grave and see what he found so beautiful. Those round bald heads (Matobo) are really an amazing sight and the view from what CJR called World's View is truly gorgeous. We climbed on one of the boulders, and Luis climbed on another one, which never was climbed during the two guides' guiding career. But Luis is a climber and likes to open new routes.

Then some more cave paintings, a small museum and a small climb to another view. I think it was called Whale Mountain, because of its whalish shape.

The picnic took place at a beautiful spot next to a dam. We ate our sandwiches while some fish river eagles circled above us.

The game drive we did was quite nice because of its scenery, but we barely saw any animals. Only a couple of impalas, zebras and hippos. But with Luis we mainly were there for the scenery of the Matobo's.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Bulawayo


With a nice mix of colonial style houses and “old” modern buildings, Bulawayo has a specific charm. The citizens are quite laid-back and the atmosphere is quite and gentle. I experienced no harassing from street or crafts vendors. I walked around the city quite a lot and visited the Art Gallery and the Natural History Museum.





Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Gabs – Leaving ZA or a boring day or two in Gaborone


Robert brought me to the Caltex stop in Midrand where my Intercape bus would be stopping and let me board. Before that, while still at their home in Kempton Park, we made plans for the close future. Laurentia's sister Lucretia told us about Soweto and that I should visit. There are organized tours. Laurentia and Robert never went to Soweto and told me it would be nice to all go and visit together. By the way, Soweto stands for South West Townships.

Tlokweng Road, Gabs
During the previous day I sent and checked the Couchsurfing requests for Gaborone. It seemed a better prospect than to go the only backpackers that looked good on paper, but was a bit out of town (about 12 km). More so, Couchsurfing is always a good way to meet new people and have good local advice for visiting and sightseeing.

Unfortunately, nobody answered to any of my requests. So I had to try and get a different accommodation for the night. From the coach, I tried calling Mokolodi Backpackers but the number advertised in Lonely Planet missed a number. By the time I managed to connect to their website with my rusty “old” not so waterproof HTC and get their true number, it was probably too late, because nobody answered. I thought I could be dropped off on the side of the road and walk to the backpackers from there, but for that we would have had to take the Lobatse road, which we didn't. It happened we never were even close to Mokolodi.

I then got assistance from the coach hostess and a taxi driver in Gabs. I thus found a “cheap” room in a little “lodge” in the African Mall in Gabs. The “lodge”, which was a hotel, or a motel even, cost me BOP 265 per night (about CHF 30). There I ate the meal Laurentia had packed for me in a cookie box.
After that I went out for some beers in a small bar just opposite the hotel, before tucking in for a restless sleep. The next morning I felt really tired and stayed in bed for a little more rest. It actually didn't work as I was still very tired while writing this. I finally got out of bed and packed my bags so I could store them until I thought out where to go next. It happened that I managed to get a luxury coach booking for the following day and had to stay one more night in the “lodge”.

I walked all the way to Riverwalk Mall on Tlokweng Road (hey Mom, remember the books). There I browsed the stores a while, and even got free wifi in some electronics shops. Some android tablets look quite nice now. I think I will opt for a tablet instead of a laptop for my next adventures. I finally went to sit, read a newspaper and a book and drink a few beers in Langi Langa Restaurant in the mall. I later treated myself with a nice steak.

Lunch with Kitso
I walked back to town but got a little lost because I actually walked around the CBD and the African Mall instead of walking to it. I asked someone and he told me to walk roughly in the direction I had been coming from. I quickly found the Main Mall and then the way back to the African Mall. This time I stayed in the hotel at night and just watched a movie before going to sleep.

The following day I packed my bags again and again, stored them in the storage room of the hotel before going out for the day. The highlight of the day would be when I was to meet Kitso whom I briefly met in the taxi from the Intercape bus stop to the hotel. I was going to have lunch with her at the museum. She had offered to host me and wanted to call me the day after we arrived, but as my phone just doesn't always work, I never was able to get her call. Basically, when I want to call someone, I often have to restart the phone first. She finally sent me an SMS and asked me If I still was staying in the small motel and we arranged for lunch the next day. In Main Mall I bought some paintings for BOP 450 and some other souvenirs.

Walking in the city and especially in the Main Mall, I noticed that a lot of the modern young city ladies are slim and sometimes even skinny. Older ladies and those coming from the rural backgrounds are mostly traditionally built.

From one of those traditionally built ladies, I bought some Mopani worms. She told me it was the symbol on the 5 Pula coin. Before buying them, I had to try one. But I wouldn't dare put it in my mouth before she actually ate one. It's a black ugly thing, that crunches when you bite into it. To me it tastes a little bit like dried grass. Do not worry, I plan to bring some back!

The coach was scheduled to leave around 9.45 and I arranged a taxi to bring me to the bus rank at 8.30. It was the same driver who brought me here two nights ago. When we got there, he told me my bus wasn't here, so I called the number I was given by the Tourist Information Center that I used for the booking. I gave the phone to the driver and he navigated to a petrol station where the bus was picking up more people. I hadn't paid the fare yet, so I didn't worry about missing the bus too much. But on the other hand, I dreaded having to stay in the city one more boring and long day. When I got there and unloaded my bags, my seat was still secured, but one of the staff scolded me for not bringing my luggage in at 6. As nobody had told me I had to that I just shrugged it off. I waited outside the bus looking at the staff load the luggage and a lot of other things into the boot. I wanted to be sure my bag would be in when we left. After about an hour they managed to fit in everything except a big stove which was left standing there.

Between 3 and 4 in the morning we stopped in Francistown, the last town before the border. Some passengers were already standing or lying in the aisle, but we still picked up some more. Easter was pointing its nose, and a lot of people were heading home for the holidays. I was happy to find out my bag actually made it. I was quite amazed at all the stuff people were bringing into Zim by bus: mattresses, brooms, kids' toys, and so on. But no stove...

Botswana / Zim border post
A little before 5 we arrived at the border post where we had to wait until 6 for the gates to open. Other cars and coaches were already there. Once the gates opened, people rushed into the post to get stamped out as quickly as possible. Some had to declare their goods and wanted to get over with it quickly. So I went in too and there a soldier told us to make a line and sit down and wait. Every time someone moved, most people stood up, and the soldier would come out and tell us to sit down again. After about half an hour I was let in. Inside, instead of queuing on the customer side of the tellers I was led into the office where the customs officer chuckled when he saw that I was going to Zim (nowhere else to go from there anyway). Everyone either is shocked or finds it funny that I would want to go to Zim. He stamped my passport and I went back to the coach where I was told I had to carry my luggage out of Botswana. I walked past the security without any hassle and waited outside of Botswana in the no man's land that stretched for quite a few kilometers. We waited for another 20-30 minutes until our coach came through and quickly reloaded the luggage and the passengers and drove off to the Zim side of the border. There the queuing was quicker but I was informed I had to buy a visa to enter Zimbabwe. I filled out yet another entry form and paid USD 30 to get another sticker and stamp in my passport. Some customs officers were looking through our luggage and other loads when I got out with my newly acquired visa. But no bag was actually opened or searched. After that the coach staff reloaded the whole load according to the exit point of the belongers. At about half past 8 we drove off towards Bulawayo where we arrived around 10.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Back to Jo'burg


I bought a City to City bus ticket from Hoedspruit to Jo'burg after having contacted Laurentia to see if it was OK to crash a night or two at their place. She said she'd ask her husband Robert, and a little while later answered positively. The bus ticket was for the next day, and so I drove one last time to Hoedspruit with Katryn and Nelri. They left me when the bus arrived. I climbed into the coach and asked the driver if he could drop me off in Midrand, because it was much closer to where I had to go than the train station in the city centre. The driver told me to relax and take a seat, which I did.

The bus route went over the pass I already used twice starting from where the Oliphant's River comes out of the mountains. After that we drove down to Ohrigstad and from there to Lydenburg. The countryside was getting flat again, and quite boring, so I mostly read and dozed off a few times.
Arriving in Pretoria, I asked the driver again to drop me off in Midrand, just to be sure he wouldn't forget. Sean, the American I met in Maputo, told me that he wanted to stop in Inhambane, but nobody told him and when he finally asked, they were already north of Xai-Xai. So I wanted to make sure that wouldn't happen to me. The driver told me to relax again, which I did again.

Once at the Caltex stop in Midrand, I told Laurentia that I just arrived. She was still working and would pick me up about an hour and a half later. When she got there, the traffic was quite heavy and she came along the other side of the highway. My mobile phone isn't working so good since it fell into the water in Inhambane in January and it couldn't pick up a connection right on the moment I needed it. But we finally managed to find each other and we drove off to her and Robert's place. On the way there I learned that of the 3 dogs they had last time I visited, only Butch was left. Ouma had had to be put out and the little one had been given to someone (don't remember who).

The next day was a public holiday and we went to visit her sister and niece in another part of the city. We had a nice day with plenty of food and wine. On my last night here, we went to Emperor's Palace Casino to watch a show.

I was then bound to Gaborone without knowing where I would sleep the night when I would get there at about 9 or 10 in the evening.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Field Guide course


When I sent word to Katryn that I would be glad to accept her invitation to visit her and Nelri in South Africa, she told me that her daughter (Nelri) was going to start a field guide or nature guide course in a short time. She asked me if I wanted to join and after some considerations (course contents, price, etc.) I accepted. Finally Katryn joined in the fun, so we're now all doing it.


Learning to handle a 4x4 in deep sand
When I arrived in Hoedspruit, Katryn and Nelri brought me to the person who would be our instructor to discuss the matter and see if I would do the course. I told him I probably wouldn't do the exam because I most probably would never use the certificate. Moreover, to use it you need to do a one week rifle course first. Which could be quite interesting, but for another time. He accepted, but said he would throw me out if I slowed the two other guys too much. The course contents is quite intense and there is a lot of information to know.

We started with a few lectures and short walks in the bush to get to know some trees. Our instructor, Marius, walked, showed us a tree, explained it to us (its medicinal use if any, how locals use it, etc.) and moved on to the next. This made it quite difficult for me and Nelri to get to know them properly because we had trouble putting them into our heads with all these informations on top. I never did any tree identification before and neither did Nelri, but for me it was even worse because none of the trees grow in Switzerland.


Marius told us quite a few times that South Africa got a lot more diversity in flora and fauna than most other countries. We have to know 12 trees by name and latin name and know their traditional use and medicinal use, then about 50 trees by name. Bu there are a lot more trees than that. Those are just the most common ones. And that's just for the trees... imagine, we have 16 subjects:
  1. Introduction to guiding in the natural environment
  2. Creating a guided nature experience
  3. Geology
  4. Astronomy
  5. Weather and Climate
  6. Basic Ecology
  7. Basic Taxonomy
  8. Introduction to the Biomes of Southern Africa
  9. Botany and Grasse
  10. Arthropod
  11. Amphibian
  12. Reptiles
  13. Fish
  14. Bird
  15. Mammal
  16. Conservation management and historical human habitation
Hippo track
So imagine to learn a whole lot of things, theoretically and practically and learn them all in a few weeks for basically the "fun" of it. But after a week-end, I changed my mind, thinking it to be a good idea to do the exam anyway. It's always nice to get a certificate which shows you've achieved something.


Then we went out to ThornyBush private game reserve (you've probably already seen the pictures on picasa) and did 2 game drives a day, one around 6.30 in the morning and one starting around 3 or 4 in the afternoon until around 7. We saw all the big 5 (black rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah) and many more animals. It is different than in Kruger Park or any national park insofar as the owners define their rules. One is that you can drive off-roads into the bush to get closer to the animals, which brought us to some really amazing encounters with elephants, lions, rhinos, cheetahs and leopard.


One day we saw this elephant eating a bush and we drove close to him to watch him. He would move slightly away but we drove around so that we could have a better view of him. After a while of taking pictures and just watching, we left him alone. We went a little bit further and as the sun was going to set soon, prepared for our sundowner. We took out the drinks, got out of the car, and started enjoying the sunset. A little while later we heard a cracking noise, and who do we see coming out of the trees in a leisurely pace ? Mister Elephant we saw earlier. We were a few meters away from the car, so the elephant must have seen that we were something different than just a green noisy and smelly thing. We prepared to make a run for it towards the car if there was going to be any trouble. But Mr Elephant just seemed to enjoy our company from a little further away.


During the 3 days I got discouraged again by the huge amount of things to learn and know well. Things which might be easy enough to learn if you've grown up in this environment and spent a lot of time outdoors. But not for a Swiss guy wanting to discover new things for fun. So I told Marius, that if possible I wanted to cancel the exam. So now I'm really doing it for the fun of it.


Fly-in breakfast in Hippo Pool
I've spent 2 days on Monwana lodge in ThornyBush clearing a place where there are a lot of dead branches from the terrible floods of the previous year, and doing other things a game ranger does on a lodge. Then I went to Hippo Pools which is a lodge where mostly South Africans go currently. The upgrade is not finished and the manager wants to be 100% ready for the overseas market when he starts advertising to it. There I helped with the mowing of the grass, the cleaning of the pool, the management of sprinklers, and so on. One afternoon we had a customer for a quad bike trip. So I had my first quad bike run ever. Quite cool! The girl from Sweden is quite adventurous, and the advertised 1 hour tour was a bit shorter because we didn't drive particularly slowly.


I was getting bored of sitting around on the game farm, even though taking a walk a watch zebras, impalas, girafes, kudus, and so on is quite cool. It's getting boring when it's the only activity of the day. So I decided to leave soon. It coincided well with the arrival of Katryn's aunt who's visiting her until she was to leave back to UK a month later. The study books had still not arrived, and Marius seemed to be preoccupied by other matters as he didn't respond to Katryn too much. This is how I decided to leave rapidly.
My next travels took me back to Johannesburg and from there I would be bound northwards, probably to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and so on.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Flying over the Lowveld and other travels


Flying over the Lowveld with this tiny aircraft called a gyrocopter was a special and amazing experience. Katryn, my hostess, got a message on her Blackberry community group conversation that one person was going to fly from Hoedspruit to Tzaneen the following morning. He was looking for a passenger because he'd rather fly with some company than alone. That's how I found myself to be responsible for hauling the whole crew out of the game farm early morning on Katryn's birthday. We left around 7.20 for the civil airfield in Hoedspruit.


We watched Tom fly in from his place to the airfield. A gyrocopter has a rotor with blades like a helicopter and is a small open two-seater, the seats being one behind the other. We took off and kept a northerly course following the Blyde River, flying over different privately owned game farms. In the process we managed to spot some crocodiles, hippos, waterbucks and giraffes. We quickly reached the point where the green Blyde River joins the brown Oliphant's River. Tom could fly very low with his craft, and we used that to fly right above the water along the Oliphant's river. After a while the Oliphant's River changed direction and we had to keep our course towards Tzaneen, so we left the river. The landscape is mostly low hills with sometimes a little higher and steeper hills. North of the Oliphant's there were mostly mango, citrus and avocado farms. Interesting rock formations stick out of the ground and look like stone structures put there on purpose.


On towards another airstrip Tom said a friend of his was flying from Malelane to the said airfield, where we later waved at the pilot who had passed us without being seen and already landed. We then flew over the Tzaneen dam before landing on a small airstrip out of Tzaneen. We waited there in the heat for his son who got a lift from Pretoria. When they got there, I got a lift the the next shopping mall in Tzaneen. There I ate a breakfast at Wimpy's before heading towards the road to Phalaborwa where I tried my first hitchhiking experience.


A lot of cars passed by without stopping. When one finally stopped, the driver told me and other stoppers that he would turn off the road a bit later. After what seemed a long time, a car stopped and took me and two other stoppers all the way to Phalaborwa for R 30. The two others went out a few kilometers before town, which enabled the driver to pick up a lady for the last bit. She asked me if I was coming for the Marula festival which happened over the week-end. I would have to check that out.


I didn't find any cheap accommodation by myself in the sweltering heat so I went to ask at a petrol station. They advised me to try the African Lily which was just opposite on the road, and which had budget rooms for R 150. The place looks a bit worn down, and the budget rooms actually are containers with box showers and some furniture. The managing lady was very nice and helpful, which made the overnight stay a good experience. I asked her about the Marula festival and she told me it was a government thing and that there would be street artists and concerts over the whole week-end.


But I chose to go to the pool first, to cool off a little bit. It worked fine, the water being surprisingly cool. Coming out, a guy sitting with some papers outside asked me if I was feeling fresher now. I took a quick shower and went outside for a chat with Isaac, who works in the mining as an instructor of some kind. We went off to get some beers in a liquor shop and drank them in the lodges premises outside of our rooms. We repeated the process a second time, there being no fridge accessible after six and the temperature being way to high to buy more than two beers at a time. The only fridge was in the reception area which is open from 6 to 6. We chatted a while while emptying the beers and cider for Isaac, until I decided to leave and try my luck at the festival. I took only a little money and my phone and started walking towards the stadium which was the festival's venue. I counted my money after a little while and thought that with the R 200 entry fee, my money would soon be exhausted if I decided to buy some food and beers. I thus walked back, fetched my card in my room, went to the opposite petrol station, drew some cash, brought back the card, and headed out again towards the festival. Approaching on the road, I saw the cars being stopped by a roadblock and some security guards who told me they wouldn't let me through without a ticket I should have bought at Shoprite. I told them I wanted to buy one inside, but to no avail. Shoprite was closed, so I made my way to a nearby bar. The people in the bar were also thinking that I should've been able to get a ticket at the entry. I had a jolly time in the bar.


The next morning I invited Isaac for a coffee before splitting our ways. I tried the minibus taxi rank, for a minibus taxi to Mica and Ohrigstad, but none was heading this direction. I had chosen this way in order to reach Pilgrim's Rest about which I had read somewhere. The guys at the taxi rank told me to go to the road leaving towards Mica and try my luck hitchhiking. With two other guys we jumped into a car who brought me up to the freeway. I was quite surprised to find out that the waiting cars were functioning like minibus taxis insofar as they were waiting to be full and taking fare for the transport. There was even one guy who seemed to be arranging the best rides for the passengers. This guy found me a lift for R 70 down to a few kilometers short of Ohrigstad. During the ride I dozed off a few times until we reached the first pass into the mountains which is absolutely gorgeous.


When I got dropped off at the crossing with the road towards Burgersfort, I managed to catch a free lift to Ohrigstad with a couple of guys chatting with another on the road. Later I thought I should've asked them to drop me off further along the road, at the crossing with the road to Pilgrim's Rest, but I didn't. In Ohrigstad I was advised to wait in one of the minibus taxis which only had a lady and her child waiting inside. Nobody told me the minibus taxi would only take me to the crossing with the road to Pilgrim's Rest which I could've reached a lot earlier. After finally leaving Ohrigstad, we started in the wrong direction to fetch someone a few kilometers further who never showed up. After about 25 kilometers and R 20 I got dropped off around 2 at the crossing.

Two guys were already waiting there, and told me they were waiting since 11. One of them said I'd be the lucky guy if we got a ride soon. Not 15 minutes later, a car passed which stopped to take us with. We climbed into the loading space of the bakkie and drove of on the winding road towards Pilgrim's Rest. The sun was shining and hot at first, but soon the clouds took over the sky and it got fresher and fresher. As we went higher, the temperature dropped quite a bit. About 30 minutes later we arrived in the tiny one horse town after passing Robber's Pass.


I inquired about accommodation and quickly found a room for R 250, which was not so good for my budget. If I had known earlier, I probably would have gone on to Graskop where there are backpackers (as I found out the next day). The room was in a charming old guesthouse managed by a charming lady who was very helpful as well. The town started as a gold mining camp in the 1870's. Now it is just a tourist attraction with nice old buildings, museums, and crafts for tourists. I had a draught beer in the Church Bar of the Royal Hotel because a sign said it was tradition that every visitor to Pilgrim's Rest should have one there.


A must
I didn't have much cash left in my pockets, but having seen an ATM sign, I wasn't worried. Big mistake, because the ATM didn't work and nobody could give me money using my Visa card. So the owner of the guesthouse arranged a friend of hers to pick me up the next morning on his way to Graskop so he could help me get there. For once I decided to buy some souvenirs, and I used all my cash for that.


The next morning I woke up at 6.30 and got ready quickly. At around 7 the friend came over and told me the taxi of 7 was already gone. We left at half past for the road where we waited about 1.5 hour for one of the minibus taxis to gather enough passengers to leave. About 30 minutes after driving off, we arrived in Graskop. I withdrew some cash and paid the fare and some airtime to the friend.


After quickly answering some e-mails in an internet cafe, I walked to the end of the place where the road I wanted to take left town. A few cars passed without stopping, but after a few minutes a delivery truck took me with. We drove through beautiful scenery which is part of the Blyde River Canyon. There are a lot of pine plantations as well. I got dropped off at Forever Resorts where some minibus taxis were waiting for more passengers. I was assigned to one which was only missing two passengers, but there was nothing around. About an hour later and one more customer, we left the place. A slow drive later, we turned off the road to drop off one of the ladies in a small settlement a little bit further on a dirt road. The driver finally dropped me off at the crossing with the road towards where I wanted to go. From there I got a ride with a nice Afrikaaners couple who were hailing from Jo'burg and were on their way to a private game reserve east of Hoedspruit for their honeymoon. I managed to recognize the place where I had to get off and called Katryn to be picked up by Nelri a little later.


The nice thing in traveling this way is to use the same transport as the locals, and thus to meet quite a few people. The downside is that if you want to stop, you will have to wait for another transport which might just never come.