An April 2004 trip
to Mpumalanga by Fiorna
Quote: We spent a week at Sanbonani and overcame some challenges!
Attraction | "Visiting the Kruger National Park"
In order to avoid the Easter traffic, we booked a B&B in Nelspruit for Thursday night. On Friday morning, we decided to drive the 73km to the Malelane Gate and take a leisurely drive through the park to the Phabeni Gate near Hazyview. Our plans were thwarted -- no more day visitors were allowed because the ‘Park was Full’. Pleading had as much effect as a water pistol has in fighting an out-of-control bushfire, so we had to retrace our steps.
We arrived at Sanbonani at 1:35pm and were advised that ‘no one will be allowed into units until EXACTLY 2pm! By this time, my mother (88) and my elderly overseas visitor (74) were overdue for a relaxing cup of tea. Eventually 2pm arrived! The first thing we saw on entering the main bedroom was a huge wet patch on the carpet, with some four towels padding the area around the air conditioner! We made a call to the maintenance department and were advised to ‘keep the shower curtain INSIDE the bath when taking a shower’. Despite diligently adhering to this, it did not stop the deluge of water from the air conditioners in BOTH downstairs bedrooms! We are still working on the de Bono logic, which seems to mysteriously connect a shower curtain with malfunctioning air conditioners.
Our first evening on the patio was interrupted by a sharp ‘CRACK’ as my nose connected with the patio sliding door that had mysteriously closed itself in the space of a few minutes! Although an avid birder, the twitterings of birdsong that invaded my headspace for two hours after the event left me totally unimpressed! Despite diligent application of icepacks, the week saw me nursing a very tender nasal protuberance!!!!
The next day was going to make up for everything, of course. We set the alarm for 4:15am and I had everyone up and dressed for a trip to the park by 5am. We spent seven hours in the park and saw a lot of long, green grass and one lone elephant bull on our way out. Fortunately, he made up for the lack of numbers by chasing us about 200m down the road, much to the consternation of my Dutch visitor!!!!
On Easter Sunday, I woke with a splitting headache, earache, and a throat that felt thoroughly sandpapered! This in addition to my tender proboscis, now twice its normal size and doing its utmost to ruin my reputation as a person of sober habits! A visit to the doctor, plenty of drugs, and a whole eight days later, I still felt as though I’d been Ali’s sparring partner!!!!
I guess some holidays have to be less than ordinary in order to make one appreciate the ones where nothing goes wrong.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 8, 2004
Kruger National Park
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