Breaking Away from Lockdown. A Gecko Road Trip Day 13 Shingwedzi to Tzendze

It was cool and overcast this morning; pleasant conditions for packing up and moving on.   By 08h15 we were done.  Boy, are we grateful for the caravan movers!   We were able to turn the caravan 360 degrees and then move it gently onto the tow-hitch.  No reversing required.

We left in tandem with Cathy and Alec but just before exiting the gate Alec called on the walkie-talkie to say he thought he’d left a tent pole against a tree on the campsite so returned to check. (He hadn’t but rather safe than sorry).  

The elephants are still not giving us a break.  The first animal we saw today was Oom Olifant having breakfast in the middle of the road.  And he made us wait until it suited him to lumber off into the bush.  Dankie Oom! 

  We continued on and greeted the impala, giraffe, zebra, and wildebeest and then noticed two cars stopped up ahead.  They were staring into the grassy veld on the left but I couldn’t see anything.   We pulled up next to one and they informed us that a leopard was on the move in the opposite direction and they began to reverse.  That was no good for us towing a caravan so we called Alec on the walkie-talkie.  He was just in range and heard us say to look out for the leopard.  But unfortunately, he dipped on that one too!  It’s all a matter of being in the right place at the right time and a leopard on the move is not easy to spot.  

Before entering Tzendze you have to check-in at the main rest camp, Mopani.   We arrived there at around 10:45.  Check-in went smoothly and we then went to the restaurant for breakfast.  Mopani restaurant looks over the dam and you can sit on the deck or inside.  The restaurant was full so we went to one of the decks to admire the view and saw a fish eagle catch a fish and land in a far-off tree to eat it.  No photos as too far off.  We also observed elephants drinking from the water’s edge.

On returning to the restaurant a table for four, indoors had become available.  We ordered our coffees and all had a wonderful breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, caramelized onion, and fried tomato.

Then we went to settle in at Camp Tzendze.  At Tzensze you are allocated a particular site.  Because we are sharing, Cathy asked for a site that would be big enough for two caravans. We got Number 32 on the perimeter and it is perfect.  There is no electricity here so we have to rely on our solar panels for power.   This means we need some sun but also want our vans to be in the shade.  We got the perfect combination!

By the time we’d set up it was 2 pm and already 27 degrees C.  At 3:15 we went out separately for a drive, the Earl and I leaving a little earlier than Cathy and Alec.   We ended up doing almost the same route and seeing the same game.

Our campsite seems to attract its own wildlife and today I witnessed a kill right next to my caravan.

A red-billed hornbill having lunch

We have a converter in our car for charging camera batteries etc but it does not have a three prong outlet so we went to Mopani’s Park shop to see if they had an adapter – no luck. However, it turned out that Alec had made one and lent us his.  So we will be able to charge our laptops in the car while out on game drives.   The internet is another story.  We have to go to Mopani camp for that so my plan is to keep a diary and when possible copy and paste to WordPress and upload the photographs if we happen to have lunch or breakfast at Mopani during these five days a Tzendze.  It takes time so it won’t always be possible.   I will, however, post the missing days as soon as possible.

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