Day 1 – September 10

We arrived early in the morning of September 9th in Johannesburg,  spending a leisure day sightseeing Johannesburg and a wonderful night staying in the Southern Sun Hotel.  Now our adventure really begins.

On September 10th our flight from Johannesburg to Polokwane was late. Allen from Copper Sun drove us to the South Africa/Botswana border where we were met by our Guide, Richard and Tracker, “Commander” from Mashatu Tent Camp.  Since our flight was late, we immediately started our first “drive” of this adventure.  After going a few yards into The Mashatu Game Reserve, Richard pulled the jeep under a Mashatu tree and they spread a picnic at lunch for us.IMG_0497.JPG

Then the fun began!  We could not believe all the wild animals we were seeing on our first drive!  They were close to us! Footnote: the dates are correct on the pictures, but the time is Eastern Daylight Savings Time.  We were actually 6 hours later in the day than time shown!

After the drive we proceeded to the camp.  The camp itself is surrounded by electric fences, so most animals don’t get in, but the smaller ones could wander the grounds.  The Guides and Trackers did not carry guns.

Upon arrival we were shown to our tent.  What a delight!  Luxury camping at its finest:  Electricity (via generator), doors (but canvas siding and mesh windows), king size bed, fans (no a/c), hot and cold water (but an outdoor shower), limited Wi-Fi service, no TV, no telephones! PS There was a hair dryer in the bathroom!

After cleaning up it was back to the gazebo for Happy Hour (all local beers, wines, and alcoholic drinks were included), then on to the boma (open air dining area) for a dinner by lantern light.

img_0781There was a bon fire and the waterhole behind was lit so we could see the animals coming in for a drink.  The gourmet dinner was delicious.  Since there are only 8 tents on the complex, there were never more than 16 guests dining at one time.  The Guides also joined the guests for dinner so we could ask questions and discuss what we had seen.

Night Night – Sweet Dreams – What a great first day and what fabulous dreams I will be having!