Monday 23 September 2013


There are a lot of gaps to fill in once I'm home, thanks to dodgy Internet connections in the bush, tch, appalling. It's our last full day in Africa after two nights spent at the very elegant &Beyond Rock Lodge at Phinda - private plunge pool, sherry decanter in the room, oodles of delicious food at frequent intervals and super-enthusiastic ranger Matt partnered by spotter extraordinaire Joel. (Not, of course, that there was time to get into the pool or even sip the sherry.)

The focus shifted from animals to people: the hard lives of the locals, and the inspiring work of others trying to help them to make a difference to their own circumstances. Marvellous people. We went into communities, actual houses and were treated with courtesy and generosity by people who had so little.

And then of course there were more animals: a walk through the bush tracking giraffe, and a rather too close encounter in the Kombi with an irritated rhino, who approached, snorting, to within 2 metres of where I was sitting at the open door. No photo of that, unfortunately. I was somewhat preoccupied.

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