Monday, August 03, 2009

South Africa 2009: Part 4

A view from our plane while flying into our remote airstrip

As a part of our trip to South Africa, we decided to take a 'vacation within a vacation' because it would be a shame to come all the way to Africa just to rock climb (says Lyn). We headed to the Madikwe game reserve to go on safari and see some of the amazing wildlife. This involved flying from Cape Town to Johannesburg and then taking a Cessna from Johannesburg to a small dirt airstrip inside the reserve.

After the safe landing on the dirt airstrip

Our luxurious accommodations - it sure beats the Sassie Cottage!


It didn't take long to see some wildlife. On the first have day we saw elephants, zebras, wildabeast, giraffes, impalas and rhinos! We stayed at the Buffalo Ridge safari lodge, and it was way fancier than I expected - we were not roughing it to say the least!

An example of one of the gourmet meals; this was springbok

A Red Hartabeast

We spent some time hangin' with an Elephant herd

Lounging by the pool, too bad we didn't bring swimsuits!

A pair of Rhinos lounging by a bush

A younger lion (but still pretty darn big!).

This was one of two lions that we saw walking along the road. His sister walked a mere three feet away from the side of our Land Rover and stared long and hard at Cameron before strolling away. I guess she decided she wasn't that hungry after all.

Three lionesses with their kill

We came upon three lionesses with their kill early on our third day. They get very tired from the hunt so they just ate the intestines and proceeded to take a nap. When we cam back later that night to check on them again, most of the zebra was gone!

Goofing off in the Land Crusier

Two male lions with their rhino kill

We also spotted a male lion in the tall grass and as we approached, we realized that two brothers had managed to kill a fully grown female rhino. Our guide, Pule, was beside himself because he didn't think that a pair of relatively inexperienced lions (they know all the lions in the reserve by name) could take down a rhino, but as he said, "Miracles do happen".

Running outside the reserve

Some of us were going stir crazy due to the lack of exercise, so we devised a plan to have our guide, Pule, take us to his village just outside the reserve. That way we could check out his village and some of us (not me) could go on a run. Even Cam was convinced to run for a couple kilometers. (I rode along in the Land Rover.)

Our guide Pule's son, niece and mother

A rainy dawn on our last day

Hard to see, but there are hippos in the water

On our last day we were able to finagle a longer game drive so we could see the eastern side of the park. At the river we saw a pair of hippos hanging out, which was a big highlight for Lyn, I know.

'Tea Time' on the Land Rover

Flying out

This was an adventure because bad weather and turbulence caused at least one passenger to have a small fit and puke in her barf bag. Lyn slept through all the excitement and didn't understand when the woman apologized for being such a poor flying companion.

Lyn Verinsky on John Denver [v6]

On our first day back on our climbing vacation, we headed out the campground climbing area to check out the classic problem called John Denver. After everyone sent (good work Peter!), we headed over so I could try Tea Time, but not before Lyn sent the dyno problem, Baboon Sumo [v7], using a crazy small sidepull.

Raza on Tea Time [v10]

After Peter and Wick headed to town, and a few hours of lazing around the Campground boulders, Lyn and I went out to Roadside so she could try her project Caroline and she sent on her second try of the night! Must have been all that good living on the Safari ;)

Lyn on Unknown slab @ 8 Day Rain area

Yesterday was our second day on but, we headed out to the 8 Day Rain area with Peter to check out some of the problems there (it was his last day of climbing). Lyn's eyes lit up when she saw this cool slab. Most of the boulder problems are pretty steep, so it was a treat to find a genuine slab! We had done a few slab warm-ups and a supposed v8 slab at Roadside that would have been Yosemite v3/4, but this was the best looking slab we'd seen by far. Unfortunately, we stumbled across this problem at the end of the day so after only 15 minutes of attempts with not a lot of success, everyone packed it in and headed to Oliphants for dinner to celebrate the end of Peter's trip and finally try the much hyped Espatata and Cederburg Special.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

not sure if it was paul or lyn who commented on my blog, but here's my email: glad to hear you guys are kicking butt. is pinotage not the coolest boulder problem in all the land? i haven't posted any course setting news because...THEY HAVEN"T SET ANYTHING!!! surprise, surprise. we are however, kicking booty at the gym, it has not burned down yet and business is doing very well. keep those posts coming. crazy legs at 8 day rain must happen!

-ryan moooooooon

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very cool! more video!

3:26 PM  
Blogger Lyn said...

Sorry guys - video is virtually impossible due to the network's snail pace. Ryan - Paul flashed crazy legs and I couldn't do most of the moves. I thought it was pretty dumb :). Thanks for keeping the gym running ship-shape.

5:17 AM  
Blogger Noah Kaufman, MD said...

Cam went running???

12:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great experience you had in Madikwe. Next time, give Kwazulu_Natal's Phinda Game Reserve a chance. Great lodges, big 5 and you can also scuba! Read more here.Phinda Game Reserve

12:00 PM  

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