Today could only be described using one of my father-in-laws choice words – Bl..s.m HOT. By 8am it was 25 degrees and by 11am it was 30 degrees. We went out for a drive at 4pm and it was 36 degrees. Even now at 10pm it must still be 25 degrees outside. The boys and I went for an early morning drive to the two dams. I think they came to humor me or in the hope that they might get to drive (which I would never allow of course). The one dam was completely dry and so we went back to the other dam. Incredibly it was 13 degrees when we left (at 5:45am). We had to let ourselves out of the camp as the gate was closed still with no one to be seen. We didn’t see much new – 2 new birds for the trip (one a vulture) but otherwise everything else we had already seen.
It is incredibly dry up here. Have a look at our the cover photo of the blog and you will see what I mean. Dusty and dry. And so the game tends only to be seen at the water. We went to Shingwedzi today but even the river there was empty. There is also a dam there called Kanniedood – well I am afraid to say it was dood. I have never seen it so dry. The ranger here at Bateleur said it hasn’t rained for a very long time. I think a very long time must be at least 6 months given how little water there is.
The drive to Shingwedzi and back is about an hour and half and we needed bread for lunch (Helen managed to burn 4 pieces in a row yesterday in the toaster so we needed to replenish that). Nothing like a 3 hour round trip to buy some bread. We also were cellphone signal starved and so everyone was quickly downloading emails when we got there as well. As the majority of the way is on gravel road it would have been the perfect time for the boys to practice their driving skills of a manual car (though I would never allow that of course). If I had, I would have let Michael drive there and Stephen back. Certainly no game to see and hardly any cars so it would never have been an issue but as you all know I am very law abiding.
The only thing you could do this afternoon was lie on the bed and watch the ceiling fan go round and round. Or in my case listen to the ceiling fan go round and round. We did go out late afternoon though it seemed that we were the only idiots to do that. The dam did have the same wildlife we had seen previously. Nothing new. A pair of fish eagles doing some fishing; hippo’s frolicking and lots of ducks; geese; storks; herons etc all feeding.
We have enjoyed the exclusive and quiet nature of the bush camp and will definitely try to stay at them again in future. Only having 7 huts does make it seem exclusive even though you pay exactly the same for this as other camps. The only downside is that it is very dry and hardly any game to be seen but that is hardly a fault of the camp. The open WiFi connection makes up for it. The ranger must wonder why I kept having around the reception area pretending to read those boring wildlife posters. He even asked me at one stage if I got a signal on my cell as he heard it beep from a downloaded email. I told him we didn’t have any signal. He did seem puzzled that I was managing to get emails though. Fortunately he has not figured it out.
Sorry about the lack of photos – will try tomorrow when we are at the next (and last camp). Until then …