Touching base

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After a huge day of intense activity, a rock waterfall featured swimming pool serves as a welcome relaxation on your return to Mattanu, and as for what’s on the menu for dinner, it’s all very homey since it’s been dished up by the matriarch of the family, Daleen Kriek, who blends distinct flavours of unique South-African dishes (her sweet potato pie is simply divine and serves as the perfect segue between mains of satay chicken and boerewors sausage, and delicious cakes for dessert.

After a good night’s sleep, you’ll wake to a chorus of birds, tens and tens of species of them beckoning for you to go on a morning game drive for a somewhat different fauna-observing experience. You’ll notice subtle differences in various animals’ behaviour from evening to morning. In fact you’ll find some of the animals even more sprightly come morning, particularly the springbok.

If it wasn’t for these amazing game drives, I don’t think I’d ever have discovered that zebras congregate regularly so that their combined stripes dazzle and confuse their predators; that giraffes sleep only two hours per day, the least of any mammal; and that buffalo are not normally aggressive, but if wounded, they become one of the world’s most dangerous animals.

Discovering this sort of information while seeing a lot of the action take place is an experience I will always treasure. Photography in geo-books and narration on nature-loving television only tell the half of it. Enough said: if you haven’t been on a safari yet, don’t wait till you reach the ‘bucket list’ age, for then you might be too old to take in all the excitement. Get onto it now.