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Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
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Friday, February 7, 2014

SA Diversity Tour (20-21/01/2014) Day 5 and 6

Hills and valleys

What a wasted day!! We broke camp early with the intention of spending half the day in Pilansberg and leaving at midday to go to Madikwe Game Reserve but after travelling for three hours, arrived there to discover that there are NO CAMPING AREAS!! Well I guess that this is our fault for not doing our homework and checking before we went up there. As our next stop was going to be Marekele National Park, decided to check this out on line first only to discover that most of the roads there are suitable to 4x4 vehicles so once again we were stumped!! It was getting late and decided to go back as far as Groot Marico, spend the night and decide what to do next. Great disappoint and many miles wasted...... 

In our search for a place to camp, we stopped at the local drinking hole called Wag ‘n Biekie to ask directions and the owner very kindly offered to let us camp for free in the gardens. What a lovely thing to do!! We gladly accepted as we could see a storm approaching on the horizon and wanted to set up camp before it hit us. Camping next to a bar was a new experience for me but as it was Sunday night, the only sounds we heard were from the traffic on the road nearby. Thank you so much Herlaas for your kindness and hospitality!!
Besides a high wind, the storm did not develop but seemed to blow over and we set out early the next morning for our next destination which of course was Kruger National Park. It is a long way from Groot Marico and camped that night at Hans Merensky Dam near Tzaneen. The dam is situated on the banks of the Letaba River and the Reserve offers a huge variety of birds and wildlife with great hiking trails.

In one way it is a really lovely camping site but totally run down. There are lovely shade trees to camp under but the roads were bad and the grass almost as tall as the car. The dam itself is beautiful and quiet but unless you are willing to spend a night without a shower/bath, do not stay over. There are bathroom facilities but not ones I cared to use.

We made an early start through Magoebaskloof Pass to Phalaborwa Gate entrance and as we wanted to see more of the northern areas of the Park, decided to stay for a few nights near the refurbished Mopani Camp.
Magoebaskloof Pass is situated on the R71 between Polokwane and Tzaneen. It is part of the Drakensberg Mountain range and the drive through it shows tea plantations and fruit farms of avocado and blueberries amongst others.
 Mopani Camp does not have their own camping grounds situated in the camp itself but have it about 8km away. Tsendze Rustic Camp is wonderful!! There is no electrical outlets there so all facilities are gas. Each camping area is demarcated with bush between them so you do not have someone on your doorstep.
(Above: Gaelyn taking pictures at the lookout over Magoebaskloof.)


Gaelyn said...

What a wild drive we had going in circles and sleeping at a bar. At least we didn't have to dance for our accommodation in the garden.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! It might have been fun seeing two people like us dancing on the tables. :D

Karen said...

Sometimes the best camping spots are accidently found. Great story!