“Bungle in the Jungle” – Jethro Tull


Our bodies may have been back in the USA for a week and a half now, but my mind is still basking in the afterglow of Africa.

Full disclosure–although the trip was amazing, magnificent, exciting, it was definitely not for the faint of heart, or the stiff of joints.

We didn’t get much exercise, because we spent most of our days riding around in jeeps, but climbing into that last row required some agility.  The steps up were pretty high!

Connie and Jeanne

Connie and Jeanne

The roads provided what our guides called “the African Massage”.  Ruts and holes in the road?  No problem.  Just grab a bunch of rocks, throw them into the holes and you are good to go!

For those that saw the movie Urban Cowboy, oh so many years ago, imagine riding the mechanical bull at Gilly’s and you’ll have a good idea of what traveling in the jeep was like.

rocky roadBridges?  Who needs them?  There were MANY reasons I was glad we were not traveling during the rainy season, and here’s one of them.  Bet the water is a whole lot deeper during the rainy season.

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We had some experiences that, depending on your point of view, could be called  mishaps or adventures.  We decided to go with adventures.

At Karongwe, our first camp, we had been chasing a leopard off road, through fields of acacia trees and thorn bushes when our guide got a radio message telling him “nagalas are in the area”.  At least that’s what it sounded like to me.  Immediately we were in hot pursuit of this mysterious animal.  Although I questioned him, Setepi wouldn’t tell me a nagala was his language’s word for lion, because he was afraid the lions might leave before we got there, and we’d be disappointed.  No worries.  There were SEVEN nagalas, feasting on a kill.Nagala

IMG_3147How close were we?  THIS close.P1070832But why is the jeep at such an odd angle?P1070855

Our wild leopard chase resulted in a slow leak that turned into a flat, right by the lions.  If we had gotten out of the jeep, the lions might have attacked, so there we sat while Setepi and Sondi changed the tire.  Another jeep pulled between them and the lions, blocking the lions’ view of the activity, just in case they decided to look up from their kill.

One of the group wondered what might happen if you got more than one flat tire while out in the bush.  We soon found out, because our leopard chase resulted in not one, not two, but THREE punctures.  Fortunately we had a resourceful guide, who used radio and good ol’ foot-power to borrow spares from other jeeps.

Running to another jeep to make the exchange.

Running to another jeep to make the exchange.

Our second camp was in Chobe National Park, Botswana.  Once again, we were lucky enough to encounter lions.  Because this is a national park, we weren’t able to go off road, so couldn’t get quite as close as we did in Karongwe, which was a South African private reserve.  Still, we were able to get some good shots.  Lion in ChobeBut just because we didn’t go tearing off road didn’t mean that we were adventure-free.

Why are we milling about, outside our jeep, with lions close by?pushing jeepWe are getting ready to try to push our stuck jeep.  No action photos–I stopped photographing to help push.

Although we were mired down, the bigger problem was that the shift was stuck, so we had to wait for help to arrive from camp, over an hour away.

It was a beautiful day, we had sufficient water, the company was great, so it was not tough to take.

Leaving our stuck and disabled jeep for the mechanic to fix, while

We left our stuck and disabled jeep for the mechanic to fix, while we rode back in his jeep.

Onward to the Okavango Delta.  Here we watched the King of the Bush, and he was regal indeed.IMG_3691

I suspected that he was posing for us.  In fact, when he turned to show his good side, I was CERTAIN he was posing. P1080621 He also has a playful side, which he demonstrated.

IMG_4024

Of course, before we got to him, we had to experience the “curse of the lions.  Yep, another jeep adventure.

If you didn’t like rocky roads, then the Okavango was your kind of place.  Take a look.P1080601Well, at least it wasn’t mud!  But we did manage to get stuck.

Mike tried to problem solve, but ultimately a tow from another jeep was needed to get us out of the sand.P1080599My grandmother was right: “things come in threes”, and in Africa, they did.  No more lion curse, no more adventure/mishaps with our vehicles after this third incident.

And now, in Grammy’s honor, I figure we should have a THIRD, and final Africa quiz.  You ready?

1. Do you know what this is?  Extra points if you know what it is used for.can

2.  What about this?

P1070905

3.  What are these objects, and why are they grouped together?

P1100359

4. Four South Africans received the Nobel Peace Prize.  Who were they?

5. A famous South African  founded De Beers diamonds, had a country named after him, left a ton of money for charitable endeavors when he died at an early age.  Who was he?

Answers by Friday.  Have fun!

 

 

6 thoughts on ““Bungle in the Jungle” – Jethro Tull

  1. Wow!! Fabulous photos and lions and tales about your three-some adventures (that doesn’t sound quite right!). I realized while looking, I should have done this many injuries ago ‘cuz I couldn’t take those rough roads jerking my neck around now.

    The whole time I was scrolling through, I kept thinking, ” uh huh, she forgot about a quiz. We’re not getting a quiz.” And then BAM Pop Quiz!!! I’m waiting till someone answers so I can copy them 🙂

    Did I mention the fabulous lion photos?!? Thanks 🙂

    Like

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