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OLIFANTS RIVER!

This weekend was one of the most incredible weekends I’ve spent in South Africa so far as Traci and Laetitia had planned for us to go to Olifants River for the weekend!

Our Saturday started with serious tetra-style packing of the Prado; with mattresses, sleeping bags, rucksacks, pillows and blankets all strapped to the roof and nine of us along with cooler boxes of drinks and bags of food comfortably arranged inside 😀

It was a beautiful drive through the reserve to get to where we would be camping out, and when we saw the river itself we were completely stunned.

It was so beautiful, with soft sand on the river banks, the sun reflecting off the water with river trees leaning over from the grassy edge. There was a magnificent fish eagle right in front of us on the opposite side, perching in a tree, and we saw impala, kudu and giraffe moving in the bush around us.

Pretty soon we were all chilling in our own ways; fishing, reading, exploring. Adam then decided to start a mud fight!! We were COVERED, and everyone really got stuck in!

To top off an amazing afternoon, once we had swam and dried off, Jonathan and I took a walk along the river edge just as an elephant was crossing to the other side! We stood in awed silence watching him, and he seemed not to notice us while he bathed and splashed himself in the mud before wandering off. It was such a beautiful moment … I’ll never forget it!!

That evening, while we waited for our potjie to cook, Traci gave us a mini stargazing lesson and we all lay down and listened to her talk about the Black Hole next to the Southern Cross! There was talk, laughter, good food and amazing conversation. The fire burnt down long before we all went to bed.

Jonathan, Rory, Daniel and I decided to brave the wilderness and instead of sleeping under the shelter with the others we slept outside with nothing but our sleeping bags between us and the SA stars … Magic!

The next day was a chilled start with Jonathan and me watching the sun rise over the river, and as the mist rose off the surface the fish eagle took flight and soared down the length of the river, it was serene!

By the time everyone was awake there was hot coffee ready to drink, and everyone had a few hours of relaxation again before sadly saying our goodbyes.

Thank you so so much to everyone who made it so wonderful! You were all awesome 😀

  

Written by Anna (UK)