10/25/09: Thorny Bush Park, South Africa
This morning we stopped at a mall on our way to Thorny Bush. Let’s just have that sentence one more time, shall we? This morning we stopped at a mall on our way to Thorny Bush. A mall! With escalators! air conditioning! McDonald’s! overpriced milkshakes! a Woolworths (I didn’t even know they still existed in real life)! a movie theater! We only had half an hour, so we had just enough time to enjoy the luxury of the escalator (twice, once up and once down, both times on the left), an ATM, and an overpriced milkshake (it was chocolate). Though we had been to shopping centers before this, we haven’t been inside a real mall with clothing stores and electronics and books and air conditioning and did I mention the escalators? I think it was our first real taste of non-bush life since we’ve come to Africa. And I loved it. Which just goes to show you that some things you can’t fully appreciate until you don’t have them for awhile.
Like game drives. (Good segue, wasn’t that?) In the last five and a half weeks, we’ve been on seven game drives. I’ll admit that once we got to Ngorongoro Crater for the last of the seven, I was a bit game-drived out. I was getting to the point where I wasn’t excited about seeing giraffes or elephants. And I’ll admit that during some of the longer stretches when we weren’t seeing many animals I may have rested my eyes a bit. Just a little bit. And I knew in my head that I really should have paid more attention because when were we going to be in Africa again? So that’s why I was so excited about the game drive tonight.
And I wasn’t disappointed. Our guide was excellent, the best one we’ve had so far. Also, since Thorny Bush is a private game park, we were allowed to go off-road to get closer to the animals. There’s nothing like seeing a buffalo up close that makes you really appreciate why they’re considered the most dangerous of all the animals (that, and being informed by our guide that unlike most other animals, if a buffalo charges you, it won’t stop charging you until you’re dead).
After tonight’s game drive, I’m really excited to spend an entire day in Kruger Park tomorrow. I’ll take that over an air-conditioned, escalator-ed mall any day.
Picture of the Day: Lindi, guide extraordinaire, made us these snack packs for the road – of course I ate most of Kevin’s