Moving from Lataba to Malalane gate

Farewell Letaba – The Move

Since we got the news about Stevens transfer to Wolhuter trail mid March, we have done a lot of waiting. Waiting for the start of the refurbishment of the house, for the house to be completed, for termite treatment, for a moving date. It has been a long 5 months. And then, all of a sudden, the moving date was planned in five days time and it is all really happening: packing up the house and saying farewell to Letaba, our home for the past four years, for good.

( If you missed the first two parts of the Farewell Letaba series, you can read the first one here and the second one here)

 

Despite all the packing and the prep work I had done over the past few months, it was still a mad dash trying to get everything ready for the arrival of the moving truck on Monday morning. But in between all the madness, we just had to make time to go for one last sundowner on the river on our last evening in Letaba with our neighbours.

 

Jack at Nkoro
Kijk mama, olifant!

We went to Nkoro: our favourite spot on the southern bank of the Letaba River. It is an open, sandy area high up on the bank with a few mature Apple Leaf trees on the edge and a steep drop the river down below. A fallen tree stump serves as a little bench. From there we watched the hippos in the pool below and the elephants that came to drink in the distance. While the boys ran around and played in the sand. There were fresh elephant tracks all around, so we were looking over our shoulder every now and then to make sure one of them was not sneaking up behind us.

 

The evening before the move
Steve and Jack at Nkoro
Sundowner Letaba
last family photo on the river

It was bitter-sweet being there, enjoying a last drink with our neighbours and taking a few family pictures. Our last sunset on the river was one of the most beautiful I have seen in a long time. The sky turned all shades of orange and pink, reflecting in the river that was slowly flowing past. A flock of Egyptian Geese flew past us and the reality of the move all of a sudden hit me in full force. I had to push back a few tears, dreading the goodbye that would inevitably follow the next day.

 

The last sunset on the Lataba river before moving to Malalane gate
How gorgeous is this sunset!

The next morning we were up before the crack of dawn. Wrapping our furniture in bubble wrap, taking curtains off and making sure the movers could just load and go. It was going to be a long day. Luckily the moving company arrived early and by 11 o’clock, we were ready to go.

 

I took one last walk through the now empty house. And put all the keys on the kitchen counter. A bit like in the last episode of our favourite sitcom: Friends.

Steven and I stood there holding each other for a little while, looking around us, reminiscing. We had some fantastic times in this house. It is the place where we fell in love. Where we had some epic kuiers and memorable adventures. It is also the place where I became a mother and where we had to find a new balance as a family… “Come”, said Steven and he took my hand. “Let’s make some new memories in the new house.” And with that, we walked out the door.

 

We left the staff village in a convoy. Steven and Alex in his dad’s bakkie in front, Jack and I in my car, towing our trailer and then the 8-ton truck with all our stuff at the back. As we turned left to go towards Olifants, tears were streaming down my face. I am horrible at saying goodbye and this was a hard one…

 

By the time we got to the Olifants high water bridge, I had calmed down. I was actually getting excited about starting this new chapter in our lives! We stopped on the bridge for a bit of a leg stretch. I looked at this enormous truck, with all of our stuff inside, parked on the same bridge where years ago Steven and I had our first kiss … And now we were driving 226 kilometres through the Kruger National Park to get everything to our new house at Malalane gate. Pretty awesome! (The story about how Steven and I got together is pretty amazing… you can read it here)

 

On our way to Malalane!
The moving truck on the bridge

It was a long drive through the park so we did not stop for a lot of sightings. We will get our time to explore our new area and go for lekker game drives. Now, we just wanted to get to the new house and unload. We got there around four o’clock and the movers did not waste any time and started unloading immediately.

 

While they were busy, I had a quick look inside the house. It is a stunning, big house, but boy oh boy it was filthy! I guess that happens when a house stands empty for months and months. Oh well, we will get it cleaned up and make it into a home soon!

 

The boys were extremely happy being out of their car seats and were exploring the new garden. It is mostly dust and dry leaves at the moment, but we can turn it into something beautiful I am sure. There is a stunning lapa and braai area at the fence overlooking the river. The fence is nice and high to keep the leopards out. (And the children in ;-))

 

Unloading our things went a lot quicker than packing everything in the truck Tetris style. So before we knew it, the movers had put everything inside. We had officially arrived!!

 

House at the gate
Our new home!

We said goodbye to the guys from the moving company. And after the truck pulled out of the yard, I closed the gate behind them. From the gate, I could see the sun setting behind the mountain; Framing the trees on the edge in a beautiful golden silhouette. On my way back inside, I noticed the elephant dung all over our new yard. Yes, I think I am going to feel right at home here…;-)

 

 

 

 

35 thoughts on “Farewell Letaba – The Move

  1. I get that feeling of moving away from a place where you have been happy. We did a lot of moving in our young days…also stayed in remote bush areas and I cried my heart out every time we had to move. Best of luck in this newe place, Linda.

  2. A sad and happy time all wrapped in 1.
    The animal sounds and their eyes shinning bright in the early morning light (4h30) was always so beautiful for me when we had to travel back from KNP to hostel in Nelspruit. This was also my dad’s heaven on earth. Enjoy it with the kids, very previous times.

  3. That saying goodbye reminds me of another goodbye in KNP…in 2015… but perhaps this is not the forum…lovely touching anecdote. You tell it well. Thank you

  4. I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures in the South, my favourite part of Kruger. However, I love the peace of the North so I can understand your sadness to leave. I love reading your descriptions of my favourite place. I feel as though I’m back , just for a brief moment.

  5. Oh Linda, I can just imagine the mass of busy thoughts in your mind over this time and the mixture of sadness and excitement. I hope you will be very happy in the new house and enjoy wonderful game drives in the southern part of the park. It looks like a lovely big house with lots of potential and I’m sure you must have worn yourself out cleaning and getting everything into place, but soon it will be a real home and things will settle. Thanks for sharing this time of moving.

  6. Linda, I literally had to swallow back the tears reading this. You will never forget your times there and I am sure you have some more stories in your archive for us to read. I am so amazingly thankful that I got to visit your sundowner spot on the river. I cannot wait to read all about your new chapter and adventures in Malelane. Xx

    1. Shame Liza, that is going to be you in a few short weeks! Hectic hey?
      Yes, It was so great we could go to Nkoro together! Scouting for a new nice sundowner spot in our new area! The birdlife here is amazing, and there are some monster crocs in the river! Can’t wait for our first elephant to come and visit;-) Apparently when it is marula season, there is no keeping them away!
      Good luck that side! Chat soon! xx

  7. Yet again, thank you Linda for your wonderful stories. Look forward to your new life in Malelane. Very different from northern Kruger I am sure. But at least you will be closer to schools for your children.
    Before I go, please all think about the terrible fire in the Pilanesburg. Hope all the animals are safe, as well as all staff and guests.

  8. Wishing you all lots of happy new times in your new home and here is to all the new memories you will be making.
    kindest regards
    Helen B

  9. Thanks for your great Story .we are very happy to see and mabey one day meet People the also love the Kruger . Your feelings are our feelings for years now and this feelings are the reason we living on the doorstep of Krueger and our big Boys . We where not able to have this very sad feelings when we had to say good bey to Krúger and drive back to Cape Town . This is the reason we living now in Komatipoort . And when the time of retirerment is comming we like to be even closer to Krúger and the big Boys . We wish you all the best for the new adventurer and a big fortune in the new House . The Boys need a Sister ???
    Please dont look my terrible english !

    1. Hi Hans!
      Thank you so much for your message! And thanks as well for helping Steven when he had those major problems with his dad’s car!
      Komatipoort is just around the corner, we are practically neighbours! I would love to taste your sourdough bread one day;-))

  10. Linda and Steven may you live a happy and fulfilled life in your new house!
    I am going to Letaba this coming November and will have to miss greeting you.
    Next year we will be back in the South and hopefully we will be able to greet you somewhere.
    Enjoy everything out there!

    Best wishes
    Simonette

  11. Hi Linda, love reading about your life in Kruger. Wishing you and your family everything of the best with your new home, I’m sure many memories will be made there!! Just love coming to Kruger, I live in Knysna so when I come up I stay for a month as it’s a long trek from the south! Looking forward to your next post. God Bless, Carmen.

    1. Hi Carmen, Thank you so much! I am glad you are enjoying our stories!
      Knysna is such a stunning place. I have only been there once, but definitely a place I would visit again!
      Have a lovely day!

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