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Masebe (19 to 22-March-2004)

Last weekend, an intimate group of just 5 of us, Judith, Frans, Judy, Oscar & me enjoyed our stay at Masebe Nature Reserve (nearest town Vaalwater), Limpopo Province. Because it was a long weekend, we had more time to relax and unwind in between all the hiking of course.

Some of the highlights:
Mountains and sandstone cliffs of the Waterberg.
Lush vegetation - ranging from vicious thorn trees & bushes to the yellows and purples of delicate veld flowers.
Good bird life. Paradise flycatchers in the tree right outside our chalet. Accommodation that was spacious, had all the mod cons and a wooden outdoor deck.

On Day One, we climbed up to and found the rock paintings. Then we visited the people staying at the African Ivory Trail Camp, over the way from Masebe. The Ivory Trail Camps are an interesting concept. They are a series of permanent tented camps, holding 10 people, with own guide and are dotted throughout the old ivory routes from the Waterberg to the Kruger Park area. The camps are secluded and usually no visitors are allowed. After our socialising was over, we spent the afternoon just relaxing, reading and swimming in the new pool near our chalet.

Day Two - we did our usual 10 km or so hike. Hike not terribly well marked, frustrating, but we usually managed to find the white "blobs". Judy and I got tired towards the end and decided return "home" via the road. It was midday and stifling. Judy, having had practise in Madiera, thought nothing of putting out a hitchhiking thumb to a passing bakkie and we got a much-appreciated lift back to the camp.
In the evenings, Judith made the dinner table look festive with an array of candles. We had our usual intellectual discussions with Oscar's sense of humour coming to the fore. Judy & Oscar brought along the Chinese game of Mah Jong & we came to grips with "chows", "poongs" & "kongs". Before we played, Frans spent every spare minute reading up on the rules. He is one of those rare individuals who can interpret instruction manuals.
What would a hike be without the friendly livestock? At "Wag 'n Bietjie", the vulture, and, this time, an army of ants and a bat. The bat flitted around the INSIDE of our chalet all night. I didn't get much sleep especially after its wing brushed against my cheek!
Day Three - early morning walk. We set off at 7 a.m., hiked for about two hours, came back and had a tasty fry-up. After that, we gathered our belongings, went on a short game drive and then departed from Masebe.

Thank you Judith for organising our hike! Thanks Oscar for the pictures - great memories.
See you on the hike next month.


Sandstone Cliff


Majong gamblers


Peaceful patio

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