Hiking with the Cheetah

Before you visit South Africa:

  1. Visit a travel clinic.  I went to one, and they recommended typhoid and hepatitis shots, along with a prescription for Malarone (anti-malaria)
  2. Pack a flashlight, a safari hat, sunscreen and sunglasses

On the way to Johannesburg:

It was the first time I’ve flow South African Airways and the announcements were both in English and Afrikaans.   The food served on the flight was good and plentiful.

From Johannesburg to Hoedspruit airport to Tshukudu Lodge:

The flight was one hour.  When we deplaned the lodge met to pick us up.  Our luggage was brought to us on a tractor – I am sorry I didn’t get a picture of that.

The lodge was nice, with a room, bathroom, and refrigerator.  I was told to pack my shoes and not leave them on the floor – you don’t want geckos in your shoes!  The bed has a malaria net.

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The view from the lobby veranda is simply wonderful:

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After arriving, I had home made chicken pot pie for lunch.  At 3:30 was “high tea” where home made chocolate cake was served.

I was too tired for the afternoon drive, but attended the African “Boma” for dinner.  The Internet says “A Boma dinner is African outdoor dining at its best. A traditional Boma is set up enclosing guests to dine under the glittering African sky. The dinner is usually made up of a sumptuous barbeque meat buffet where the dishes are brought to tables by the warm, welcoming wait staff”

The food was fantastic and the service was fantastic.  The first night we had dinner with our ranger, Werner, who was friendly and knowledgable.   I slept soundly the first night, and was awake in time for 6:00 am coffee with rusks.    I tried not to miss the coffee with rusks, except the day we went to Kruger Park.

At 6:30 am is the morning walk.  The weather is nice for it – cool, and it was nice to meet Ntombi, the female cheetah.  The first day we followed her as she led the hike.

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A challenge for me (with a bad knee) was climbing in the 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser, but I finally figured it out.  They have steps too to help you enter/exit the vehicle.

Then home-made breakfast is available at 8:00 am.  Eggs are made to order, you can have toast, fruit, croissants and of course, coffee.  I don’t think I missed any breakfasts either.

The morning drive after that (starting at 9:00 am) is an extra charge.  If it is too hot I don’t recommend it; everyone was saying “the animals are smart; they know it’s too hot to be outside”.

Lunch is served from 12:30 to 2:00 pm.  Then nothing until 3:30 high tea (with a treat).

The afternoon drive is from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  It is interesting as you get to see the sunset (called sundowners).

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Here is my animoto and video of my wonderful stay:

 

I am missing South Africa already

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