21 November: Berg-en-Dal to Lower Sabie
This was a moving day, so we packed up and then drove up the H1-1. We frootled slowly to Lower Sabie via Skukuza staying on the tar roads as the car was quite heavily packed.
We saw lots of ground hornbills during our three week stay - such a special treat for us. This juvenile had a caught a scorpion.
We stopped in Afsaal for a cup of coffee. CB had the by-now obligatory ice cream. There was a saucer of jumping beans on the coffee counter, and we laughed to see the beans bouncing up and down as the tiny worms inside them wriggled.
As we drove north, we were delighted to see a dainty dancer of a klipspringer, standing sentinel on a granite outcrop. Further on, we reached the large granite outcrop that houses Mathekenyane look out and get-out spot. CB was glad to stretch his legs.
I spotted a resurrection bush, Myrothamnus flabellifolius.
The brown withered-looking shrub brought back happy childhood memories. If you take a piece of the seemingly-dead and dessicated resurrection plant, and put into water, then within a few day it turns from green to brown. Its leaves fan out, and it comes to life. Such fun! (But don't pick the ones in Kruger, please!)
People's Plants by Ben Erik Van Wyk and Gericke Nigel wrote:
The plant is an important African medicine for colds and respiratory ailments, but its main significance lies in the traditional use in the psychological treatment of severely depressed people. Sangomas would tell the patient to place a small twig in water and then give witness to the transformation. Miracles are possible; that things can unexpected change for the better.
It is hard to find a better symbolism for adaptability - the plant dries out ('dies') in the dry season but resurrects immediately after the first rain.
Modern scientists are keenly interested in the resurrection bush. Its microbiology may hold the key to new medicines, drought-resistant crops and even anti-aging cosmetics.
We stopped in at Lake Panic hide, and were fascinated to hear a "popping" sound all around us. It really sounded like popcorn! We eventually traced the sound to seeds that were "popping" off nearby trees. We thought that they were perhaps more jumping beans.
After a pleasant lunch in Skukuza, we meandered east on the H4-1, with its tantalizing glimpses of the Sabie River. Woodland Kingfishers abounded.