Kruger National Park – Day 13

22 November 2017 – Birthday Surprises

I am celebrating my birthday in my most favourite place in the world.  Who could ask for a better gift than that!  And all my birthday wishes came true today.  The creatures of the Kruger National Park popped up to say Hi.

I had no plans to celebrate in any way – just being here was enough for me.  But my darling husband arranged for us to make a breakfast stop at Mopani Rest Camp because they have such a lovely restaurant overlooking the Luluvu River.  Letaba’s restaurant is closed and there is only The Rustic Kitchen to replace it.   This meant quite a long drive there but we had some lovely sightings and every time something interesting happened, Pat said, “Happy Birthday, Helen!”

And it did seem as if though some of the animals knew it was my special day.  A giraffe crossed the road, stopped and looked right at me ane I believe sent me a birthay greeting.



And so did this buffalo!


Who’s the birthday girl then?

This warthog provided some amusing entertainment


Mud, glorious mud


I need a good scratch


Oh Hi, didn’t see you there – Happy Birthday

Birding is our passion and today we saw some lovely specials


Marsh Sandpiper


White-Crested Helmet-Shrike


Red-billed Ox-peckers on a buffalo’s back


Namaqua Dove


Kori Bustard

My birthday breakfast was fantastic.  What a view we had and what lovely birds we saw from the deck.


The deck at the Mopani Restaurant


A really scrumptious breakfast

The temperature got up to 40 degrees C today but we were relatively cool in our airconditioned vehicle.  However, opening the windows to take photographs let in the hot air and by the time we got back to Letaba we were all ready for a swim.

In the pool I chatted to an older lady who was such an inspiration.  She and her hubby were still travelling and having lovley holidays together.   Then she went out and the next thing I knew she’d slipped and fallen. I leapt out of the pool to see how she was.  How amazing was her attitude. “I’m fine,”  she said, “It’s just my dignity that’s damaged!”  There were two young men immediately on the scene and her husband said, “Don’t pull her up by her arms.”  He put a towel under her arms and then said,  “Pull her up using the towel.”  It worked perfectly and she was absolutely fine.

I went in for a little longer and then we all got out and would you believe – Pat slipped and landed flat on her back hitting her hand hard as she fell.  Oh horror!   We used the towel trick to get her up too.   Unfortunately her hand was really hurt.  Back at camp we iced it and I put an ice-pack in the freezer that she could use in the night.   Earl strapped her up as best he could and she insisted that she would be fine.  (I am writing this two days later so I can report that she went to Skukuza the next day to consult a doctor and is now in a brace and on medication for the pain.   If the swelling does not go down she will have to have x-rays but right now she is comfortable.)

Without my noticing, The Earl slipped into the park shop at Mopani and bought a bottle of champagne which he chilled in the car fridge.  So when we were about to pour our sundowners out came the champers to celebrate my 65th birthday!


Cheers!   ( I’m sure my sister approves)

The Earl refused to let anybody help with the preparation of my celebratory meal tonight and presented us with a Master Chef quality chicken dish.  It was to die for.



Enjoying my dinner in the bush


Pat with injured wrist on ice managed with one hand

Another African day under the belt!




4 thoughts on “Kruger National Park – Day 13

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