Friday 15 November 2019
As I stepped outside the caravan at 4:30 this morning, I heard something running toward our campsite. I turned to look and almost wet my pants when an enormous hyaena loped at speed past me, toward the neighbours and disappeared. He must have found a hole in the electric fence and slipped through it! The Earl wouldn’t believe me. “It must have been a bushbuck,” he said. Like I wouldn’t know the difference!
Half an hour later, the Earl left for Nelspruit to have the Ford Everest serviced and I was left to spend the day alone in the camp. Only, I wasn’t entirely alone. There are two couples camping next door to us and coincidentally the men also had to go to Nelspruit as one of them had needed urgent repairs done to his vehicle. It was now ready for collection and not long after the Earl, they too set off for Nelspruit. Their wives stayed behind and as they busied themselves with camp chores and I was doing the same, we chatted to each other and grumbled about the baboons and monkeys that were constantly trying to steal food. They’re particularly bad at Berg en Dal Camp. I told them about my hyaena and Julia said she’d seen the pawprints next to her caravan.
I achieved quite a bit during the morning – cleaned the caravan and did the laundry which required a bit of walking to and fro – urgently needed when you sit in a car for hours on end. I was busy working on the computer when Julia called to me to join her and Jan for a cuppa. And of course, that took over an hour!
Then I noticed monkeys trying to get into my caravan. I ran to chase them. All but one scattered but the leader had no fear and ran at me. “Help!” I yelled and turned tail and scarpered. Julia and Jan came with catapults and shot at him. Thankfully he turned and ran up a tree! Don’t laugh! It wasn’t funny! Lol.
The Earl returned at around three and by then I had completed the computer work and was feeling that it had been a day well spent in spite of the little dramas I’d experienced. Honestly – hyaenas and deviant monkeys. What is the park coming to!
I thought the Earl would be all driven out but he was keen to go for a game drive straight away, so off we went.
A word about Berg en Dal for those who plan to visit one day.
The campsite is beautiful. During the offseason, it is easy to get a site on the perimeter with views across the veld. All the sites are under trees and there is plenty of shade.
The ablutions are okay. The showers work but it takes a long time for the hot water to come through. There is also nowhere to put your soap and shampoo etc. so you have to work from the floor. I found that this time they were not cleaned regularly throughout the day but they were reasonably clean. If you shower early in the morning you will have to deal with dead insects before you start.
The staff at reception were friendly and helpful. When I went to get coins for the laundry I was greeted by a deaf employee. She handed me a piece of paper and indicated that I should write down my request. I did and she went off the fetch the bag of coins, counted the required number out – enough for a washing machine and a dryer. I handed over my two R20 notes and gave her a thumbs up in thanks. She smiled broadly. How lovely that Sanparks are employing people with challenges!
The restaurant has a view over the dam. It is well worth taking this Rhino Trail walk. It starts at the restaurant and takes you right around the perimeter of the camp.