By Robert Yoshioka
While we had to say goodbye to the Garden Route and our new monkey, bird and ellie friends in Knysna, we were buffered by the excitement of traveling to our new home for the next several days.
As we landed at our airfield (Fun Fact: It is a very long runway—at 13,094 feet long, it is the alternate runway for the Space Shuttle!) and saw our safari vehicles lined in a row, Dr. Mark summed up the feeling:
“The Lowveld is what many people consider to be the ‘real’ Africa. The low-lying subtropical climate supports broad-leaved woodland and the famous Acacia thorn trees, with long grass and lots of wildlife. This is my idea of heaven!”
With our luggage already transported to the River Lodge Suites, we excitedly leapt into our open-air trucks and met the rangers and trackers who would be chauffeuring us through all of our game drives. Even one of the “higher-up” celebrities came out to greet us as we entered the reserve. #GiraffeHumor
“In this magnificent and ancient wilderness, predators and prey make up a complex web of interactions. It is a fight for survival every single day.”
During high tea, a slightly shorter local resident came out to greet us and Joe took the opportunity to commemorate the occasion with a sketch! (Did anyone else start singing “If it weren’t for the fact, that we liked the taste, you’d be out there wallowing in shoulder-high waste. Shoulder-high waste!!” for this dung beetle?)
It is truly gorgeous here—the sky is breathtaking, the clouds are epic, and even the breeze is crisp and ripe with adventure.
After a day of travel, it was wonderful to enjoy a delicious dinner amongst now-longtime friends and marvel at this incredible game lodge we get to call home!
“Wherever you go, that’s where you eat. Adventure travel is usually framed as a visual experience, all about the photographs of exotic subjects. But there are a bunch of other things going on as well, and one of them is food. You have to eat where you are and that opens up the opportunity for all kinds of other adventures. Even something as mundane as an egg tastes different in another country, because of who the chickens are and what they eat. It’s one thing to cross a suspiciously shaky bridge, but it’s another altogether to put a new food in your mouth. Sometimes you say ‘Wow, I never thought I’d be eating this unusual new thing!!’ and you say ‘Wow, I can’t believe that they can prepare such a delicious and familiar dish way the heck out here!!’ Over the course of many personal adventures and Disney research trips we have been exposed to all kinds of foods in all kinds of places. But almost always, the meal finishes with, ‘That was delicious!’”
Click here to see more about this amazing safari adventure.