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Time Out - Back to Nature

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on July 10, 2022 12:31

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We needed a break and took the grandchildren camping (with their parents, of course). The Kruger National Park is one of South Africa's oldest and best-loved destinations. And although the wildlife was a major attraction, camping for the first time was a great joy.

On a long road, the children always ask: "Are we there yet?" Or: "How far is it?" The answer to the last would be: "Two elephants and three giraffes." That got me the side-eye from my granddaughter, as did the suggestion that she checks the colors of the hippo's bikinis. 

Giraffe crossing the road. Photo D de Smidt. 

It was their first camping experience and their first time in the Kruger Park. For me and for my children it has been an annual pilgrimage for many years - a place where we could find peace, where the world's worries are replaced by the importance to determine exactly what bird is calling, to follow tracks along the side of the road, to admire sleeping elephants. Where we could redefine ourselves.

Sleeping elephants next to the road. Photo D de Smidt

The daily deluge of news on Ukraine, the assassination of Abe, and the political wrangling of politicians became unimportant. I managed to open the hundred daily e-mails when we had cell phone reception and to ignore them. After all, who cares if nuclear war had broken out when there is a fifth crocodile at the water hole, you wonder if the hippos are fighting or just horsing around, or whether we can find the leopard others had seen. 

Do not feed the animals! Birds looking for an illicit breadcrumb. Author's photo

In camp, the children quickly learned that those who don't cook wash the dishes, and that everyone has a vital role to play in making the vacation a success. And there are always birds begging for illicit crumbs, owls sleeping in the trees, squirrels to chase. 

Washing dishes is important. Author's photo

Of course, one needs to learn how to photograph animals, like mother and granddad.

Diederick's first picture: a hyena behind the fence. Photo D de Smidt

Unforgettable moments, precious memories. 

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on July 10, 2022 12:31

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Source: HuffPost

Rule-breaking tourists don't let nature take its course in disturbing video from South Africa's Kruger National Park.

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