Shingwedzi: I do not want to be in this camp ……
When we planned this trip my only request was: no staying in Shingwedzi!
That is why we stayed at Punda Maria, which turned out to be the best decision ever!!! But SO decided that on our journey back south I must come to terms with my fear!
Four years ago we camped next to the fence at Shingwedzi. We had a good time. We had wonderful neighbours and became friends. One evening a herd of ellies grazed next to the fence. It was a beautiful evening. SO took a photo of me standing next to the fence with a huge ellie on the other side!!! We had a lovely braai. Everything was so calm.…. Suddenly as I was getting out of my chair SO pulled me out of my chair and I fell into his chair, which overturned…. It all happened so quickly. Our neighbours came running over to see what was happening. If I had put my foot down I would have trampled on a puffadder who curled up right where my foot had been!
The puffie didn’t want to move. Eventually the men chased him into the bush.
(I wrote about this in a previous TR)
I never realised that I had the shock of my life!! The next morning we left Shingwedzi. Three days after this incident I realised I can not remember anything about Shingwedzi! Looking at the photos I can recall the ellies, but do not remember anything about the campsite. I know that you can die within 30 minutes from shock when bitten by a puffadder. I realised that it was night, the nearest hospital would be at Phalaborwa!! I am a very lucky person. Thanks to my SO who saw the snake and reacted immediately I am alive and can write another TR!!!
During this trip we stayed 3 nights at Shingwedzi, next to the fence, but I kept my eyes on the ground.
Somehow it felt like déja vu!! The second evening the ellies grazed next to the fence, SO took a photo of me with a huge ellie at the other side of the fence ……. But no snakes!!!!! During the day I took my time to walk through the camp and once again regain the wonderful feeling of Shingwedzi.
Realising what a beautiful camp Shingwedzi is …. If I am not mistaken it was the camp of the year (2012).
I also realised that puffadders are not only in Shingwedzi, they can be anywhere.
The incident with the snake made me realise how precious life is. You must embrace life and live life to its fullest every day ……