(will try to do my best, Michele...I won't be able to finish it but here is at least one more chapter for you...hope you enjoy
After leaving the lions at Melkvlei we took it very easy and had a slow drive to Dikbaardskolk, enjoying the greener than normal Nossob.
At one of the waterholes (can’t remember which one) we had a large group of oryx. There was a lot of action and running around going on and two of them were having an intense fight.
One of the striking things, well actually thé striking thing of the drive between Kij Kij and Dikbaardskolk was the sheer number of Gemsbok. We saw thousands upon thousands…they were just everywhere. Quite wonderful!
Another nice sighting was a family of ostrich with some sub-adults. Till now we saw little ones and grown-ups but ostrich of this size was a first-timer to us.
When having lunch at Dikbaardskolk some folks warned us that gaming in the Nossob area was going to be very difficult and that there was one thing we would see in abundance…high grass. Unfortunately this proved to be true. We already noticed the highth of the grass in the Nossob valley but it only got worse from here to Nossob. Between the waterholes there was close to nothing to see and we were in a Nissan X-trail let alone people in a normal sedan. This drive was preparing us of what gamedriving in the Nossob area was going to be in the next couple of days…driving from waterhole to waterhole and sit there with a couple of cars to wait for whatever to show up.
Arriving at Nossob felt like coming home. Don’t know what it is about this camp but I (as well as my SO) absolutely love it. Staff at reception was super friendly and the question to provide us with freshly baked bread was welcomed with broad smiles (as if they wanted to say: we make the best bread in SA and you are lucky someone let you in on the secret). A first look in our hut learned 2 things.
1. the fridge was broken…not great news when you have food for 5 more days to come. I went to reception (wasn’t mad or anything: this is Nossob in the middle of the bush, not the Sheraton in Singapore). They apologised…apparently the people who were there before us hadn’t noticed it or at least hadn’t mentioned it. However they saw that people from 2 units further had cancelled for the night so they gave me the key for that unit as well and allowed me to store my food there until things were taken care of. When we came back from or evening drive, someone was waiting for us with bread and the message that our fridge was indeed broken but they weren’t able to fix it this evening, they would do it first thing in the morning. Indeed, next morning as we left the maintenance guys arrived. When we came back the fridge worked again but very weak. Back to reception. They were a bit surprised but promised they would have another look at it. Two hours later (around noon) we were provided with another fridge, an older one but it worked. Only than we were asked to take our food out of the other fridge. It seemed that they had already emptied another fridge somewhere in the camp in case they hadn’t found a solution before the people of the other unit arrived. All this happened with nothing else than smiles and friendly behaviour.
So even though we were in a place where it is far from evident to fix these kind of problems the staff did just about everything they could to help and finally they did, always being extremely friendly and flexible.
2. a bit less important but bad new for my sore neck…no extra pillow. Normally seen I just put a fleece or whatever under it, but here someone from the staff just gave me one of hers. “Can’t find another one for the moment but you can have my extra one…just make sure you give it back in two days when you leave.”
This lady was the same one that coordinated the “fridge works” (at least that is how we felt it). Her name is JULIANA DE VRIES and she is a real gem and asset for SANP if you ask us. I will also post this in the topic created for this and hope the message gets through all the way to Nossob.
OK back to the essence…what did we see on our evening drive. Well, things were extremely quiet. We drove the Marie se Draai loop and at Marie se Gat all cars were sitting and waiting…for nothing to come. Finally a wildebeest in great evening light appeared on the scene.
And than…a magical moment. No, not cats, not hyenas, not a rare species but … secretary birds. We already had seen masses of them the last couple of days but now two of them decided to fly up a tree. The first one landed in a tree a few metres away from us…here he (or she?) is.
The other one landed in the tree under which we were parked. He (or she) looked right into our eyes through our open roof and lying on my back, not an easy position, I managed to take these pics.
Light was perfect and look at those eyes…
When these guys are so close and look right into your eyes you can’t help but being in full admiration for them. A wonderful moment.
A great chicken curry with a fresh chenin blanc concluded this special day.