Thursday 19 September 2013

Coffee! Internet!

Three days in the bush and everyone's head down in the Wimpy having ordered burgers and coffee, catching up with the world on their phones. As am I! It's been brilliant: the 2.5m black mamba didn't show at the campsite, no one got charged by a rhino, and we ate and slept really well at the bush camp.

We've seen giraffe, rhino, zebra, several sorts of antelope, warthog (only amateurs add the -s) and so many birds, but no insects: perfect. We've done game drives, visited a lovely lodge with thatched chalets, had a braai and campfires, and there's been plenty of beer and wine and general jollity to balance all the learning. We walked to within 50m of five rhino and visited a school bush camp to study spoor with the kids.
Yesterday I spent an hour and a half in the back of a helicopter swooping low over the bush veldt looking for rhino, checking the fence line, maintaining a warning presence. Then it landed at the lodge to drop me off for a swim in the pool. As you do! And today we called at a school where shy but eager kids were given a rhino picture to colour for a competition. I've seen more rhino than these guys - it's vital to spread the word and get them on board.

We got educated too: bare rooms, pencil stumps, threadbare uniforms, no idea what a frisbee is, and half a dozen hit on the hand with an 80cm rubber stick for daring to call out hello to us - by a fat woman with gold teeth, French tips and lots of bling. Not exactly Mr Chips. I wonder if the kids will ever see the books and stationery I left for them?

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