Moving day is approaching fast! The stack of packed boxes in the passage is growing slowly. I have taken most of the pictures off the walls, so the house is definitely feeling less like our home. Some of the kids’ toys are also packed. I thought I kept their favourites out, but you know what kids are like; one week this toy is their favourite, the next week it is a different one. Well, apparently I packed their favourites of this week, so we went for a few extra drives;-) Also because I want to soak up every ounce of Letaba before we move!
Late one afternoon we were on our way to the Letaba high water bridge when we saw a flock of guinea fowl in the road. Both Alex and Jack were completely mesmerised. I opened the windows for them to hear their tchrrrrrrrr sounds. Alex leaned out and shouted: “Hallo kip!!” (Hello chicken!) Well this sent the birds in a flat spin running down the road. I had to giggle. Have you ever noticed how they look like miniature dinosaurs when they run like that? Alex was beside himself. He could not stop laughing! Which in return had both Jack and me in stitches. It is amazing how things that aren’t all that interesting to us adults, can completely fascinate children! Every afternoon now Alex is asking to go see the ‘chickens’.
So with the house in Malelane almost finished, our ‘farewell tour’ is in full swing. We have been to the bridge over the Letaba a few times. Where the boys like to throw sand into a puddle of water at the bottom. And I just like to watch the sunset and the elephants that come to the water to drink.
We also took a lovely walk through the rest camp. Alex was chasing birds around yelling ‘come here kip’ to doves and francolins alike. He is such a bush child! There was a lone elephant drinking from the river. Man, I am going to miss that view from the restaurant. It truly is one of a kind and together with the view from Olifants rest camp, my favourite in the park.
But the best part of the ‘farewell tour’ is the sundowners we had on the river. One afternoon the boys and I went with our neighbours to a special spot where the Nhlanganini stream flows into the Letaba River. On our way there, we encoutered two sparring bull elephants. There is such power in those animals! We call them gentle giants, but during a full-blown fight there is nothing gentle about them! The sound of their ivory clashing together was quite intimidating!
This place on the river is my neighbours favourite and I totally get why. The view of the river is stunning with a little sand bank to the right and the Nhlanganini stream behind you. A beautiful Apple Leaf tree frames the view and provides a bit of shade. We sat down in our camping chairs and watched as three stunning waterbuck rams crossed the river. There were elephants on the opposite bank, feeding contently on the Mopani trees. And to top it all off, we could hear a fish eagle call a few times; that special sound which is so typical for the bush. It was such a lovely and peaceful afternoon.
While we sat and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the bush, the boys had a joll too! Alex found a stick and was poking in a heap of dry elephant dung. He called me. ‘Kijk mama, olifant poefie!’ Well done my boy, you might just follow in your father’s footsteps one day! 😉
As the sun started going down, a flock of guinea fowl came walking down the road towards us. The Apple Leaf we were sitting under was probably their roosting spot for the night and we were in their way! Alex could not believe his luck: a whole flock of his favourite ‘chickens’ right there to chase around! The birds were obviously not amused and flew up in their tree, sending down a few indignant looks.
The sun was setting quickly now, giving the sky a beautiful orange glow, as she dipped below the horizon. The sunsets here in Kruger is something I can keep watching in amazement over and over again. It is a stunning spectacle that is different each and every day!
With the sun gone, our time at the river sadly also came to an end. We needed to get back to the staff village around gate closing time. And I needed the bath the boys, who were covered in dust and elephant poo;-)
‘Bye bye kip!’ Alex shouted at the guinea fowl up in the tree as we drove away. ‘Slaap lekker!’
The first part of ‘Farewell Letaba’ is also online. You can read it here.