Tuesday, 18 March 2014

South Africa pre-post

My love affair with Africa was put under strain this week. So often it is the quirks and idiosyncrasies of our loved ones that endear them to us. Little inconveniences can easily be overlooked and frustrations borne with good heart, but this week I was tired and impatient and allowed the irritations to get the better of me. This post is to vent my frustrations to avoid them spilling over into the specific posts and tainting them.


European Bee-eater

Actually, you don’t need to read any further. Ignore my whinging and just enjoy a few of the pictures. This is simply a cathartic exercise for my own benefit, recommended by the councillor who is trying to salvage our relationship. I shan’t go into specifics here except to say that getting mugged was something that I had always expected to happen and I was prepared for it, but I did not expect it to happen at the hands of the police. Oh, and it was the second time that I had been robbed that day! When I eventually arrived at Marievale Bird Sanctuary after 3 and-a-half hours in the car, the site was flooded and inaccessible.


Black-backed Jackal

Other outings this week have been severely curtailed or delayed. Our flight was delayed while we waited for an engineer to sign off vital repair work to the aircraft. It was late in the evening and we had to rouse him from bed to do it. The delay resulted in us arriving more than 3 hours late, turning what should have been a leisurely afternoon drive around Suikersbosrand into a frantic dash to beat the darkness. Extraordinary rain washed out roads and damaged bridges at Pilanesberg restricting us to the main tarmac road.


Tawny-flanked Prinia

All in all, what with getting lost a few times because South African map makers can’t agree on which number to allocate which road (or giving it one number for the carriageway going north and a different one for the south direction) and a running battle with the parking barrier at the hotel, it was quite a vexing trip. Of course it was not all Africa’s fault, I was intolerant and quick to rise this week. I have loved her for as long as I can remember and I am sure that she and I can rebuild our relationship. In fact, I just arrived back this morning and am missing her already.

Warthog

Anyway, despite the whinging, I did manage to get into the bush to wave my binoculars about a bit and even took some photos. There will probably be three posts from this trip (with little or no complaint now that I have off-loaded my troubles here) and will include a quick whizz around the circuit at Suikersbosrand, a limited tour of Pilanesberg and a whistle-stop, multi-site post including Marievale,Rondebult and Johannesburg Botanical Gardens. I will link from here once they are published.


Zebra

If you can't wait, visit the dedicated African page where you can find some previous South African posts.