What I learnt in a week in Natal

1. Cape Town is very far away from South Africa.

I felt the same in Joburg that I feel in Kzn, Cape Town is a European cosmopolitan pocket in SA. The real South Africa is up country.

2. There are only two months of cold weather here. 

Which is why we’re considering moving here. Year long summer? No other reason needed to convince me.

3. The difference between a black and a white rhino.

Although I didn’t see a black rhino, I think I could tell them apart now. And actually, both are such beautiful animals – why would anyone want to kill them?

4. The value of a rhino horn. 

Which would explain why someone would want to kill one. It’s still painful to think of, and while I’ve never actually been that into wildlife related things – having seen rhinos now, I feel much stronger about about supporting anti-poaching as much as we can. 

5. The origin of the term ‘white’ rhino. 

It has nothing to do with colour.

6. The difference between a brown and a spotted hyena track. 

Although both, as well as leopard and lion tracks, are so light that there’s little chance I’d have picked it up without our trusty field guides.

7. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Unhappiness or dissatisfaction with something should be addressed in order to be rectified. You shouldn’t wait till the end of your holiday or stay to complain or provide feedback. 

8. I’m a boutique hotel girl

This is something I actually knew already. 

9 pools, 7 restaurants, a million and 5 rooms – we found ourselves at the smaller Zimbali lodge for our whole stay. Mauritius meets the OVC in Phnom Penh. Colonial decor, quiet and serene and with attentive staff. I’ll never book a big hotel again. 

Except when we go on that cruise. The one on Marks bucketlist.

10.  Alarm calls vs rutting noises.

Of Impalas. And both make me giggle.

11. That a chev sonic actually has some power.

But it clearly is only a rental car as I’ve never seen it before.

12. Game drives and a bush holiday is more exhausting than anticipated.

Early starts and constantly processing whether it’s a rock or a lion as you drive a long call for serious afternoon naps.

13. That tourists really are that stupid in Africa.

A scot feeding a monkey on a bush stop. An Asian out of his car to take a photo of an elephant.

Really. That stupid. 

14. That leopards are like unicorns. They don’t actually exist.

They just are spoken of to draw us in and encourage us onto night drives. 

15. That life is really a series of lessons. Mistakes are made, hard times are encountered – You learn, you grow, you share the lesson with friends. Everyone is working on their relationships – with friends, parents, spouses. And working at it is the only way to have happiness. 

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