Wildlife tally for Monday Feb 2
antelopey thingies – impala and waterbuck. We see so many of them that now we just call them all ‘antelopey thingies’. If we find something different that we haven’t seen before, I’ll add it to the list
New to our list today – lions! 2 lionesses actually. They were about 100 metres away from us, sitting in grass near a bush and we could really only see them when they raised their heads. If someone hadn’t stopped to tell us they were there, we wouldn’t have known. Still, it was exciting for us to finally see them. Greg marked the spot on the GPS and we stopped again on the way back – they had moved into the sun as it was late afternoon and ther previous spot in the shade would have been getting cool. Then last night there was one roaring and growling somewhere nearby … on the other side of the campground fence, I hope!
Despite the title of this blog post, we’re not going to Mozambique. We thought about it as Kruger National Park continues across the border into Mozambique to become the Limpopo Transfrontier Park, and visiting the capital, Mabuto, would be interesting. But we can’t take the car, a day visa costs $80 each and we heard a horror story about corrupt Moz immigration officials from a South African woman when we did the tour to Vic Falls. I’ll re-tell it here in the hope that it warns other people to be vigilant at borders.
This woman had been to Moz at least half a dozen times before and travels around Southern Africa a lot, so she isn’t a novice, but the last time she and her adult daughter went to Moz, their passports weren’t stamped and they didn’t realise it. She remembers hearing the thump of the stamp, but it didn’t go on the passport. They only realised when they were trying to leave the country and got hit with a 2,500 rand fine each (around $300). They didn’t have that kind of cash with them, so the officials held the daughter while the woman went try and get the money from an ATM across the border. While she was there, her car was robbed and she lost phones and other valuables. The daughter eventually got away and the woman got in touch with Moz officials much higher up the chain and got it sorted out. But tourists wouldn’t have the time or connections to be able to do that.
So …. anyone travelling to Mozambique needs to be vigilant about making sure their passports are stamped properly.
We’re heading south today, but still staying in Kruger. We’re planning on camping at the Crocodile Bridge campground as it’s good for seeing lions and rhinos. Fingers crossed! On the way, we’re calling in to Szkuza, which is the main camping and admin area in Kruger. There is an Avis office there and we want to get written permission to take the car into Swaziland. If we get permission, we’ll spend a couple of days there before we head back to Joburg on Saturday.