Occassional thoughts about orienteering
Monday, September 02, 2013
Orienteering (and looking at animals) in South Africa
Mary and I ran a local orienteering event near Johannesburg, South Africa, a few weeks ago.
I had a clean, but slow, race. The area sits about 1600 meters above sea level. That's enough to make climbing hills difficult for someone who lives much lower. Not being in very good shape doesn't help.
While we planned out trip to include an orienteering event, our main focus was on looking at the animals. We spent most of our time in Kruger National Park.
We weren't really sure what to expect, but we'd rented a car in Johannesburg and booked nights at some of the camps in the park (Skukuza, Satara, Oliphants and Letaba) and also spent two nights at a lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve next to the park.
A typical day in the park would begin with an early morning drive. The drives involved leaving the camps before dawn and driving to some nearby areas to see animals. The vehicles were open trucks with room for about 15 passengers. The morning drives were very nice - you got out to the park before the gates opened and we saw lots of animals.
In the mid or late afternoon we'd return to the camp. On some days we'd do a sunset drive (which is just like the morning drive but at sunset) and on some days we'd go on a guided walk. You can't really get out in the terrain on your own, but you can book a walk with a couple of rangers.
An advantage of the private lodge and of being outside of the national park was that the guided drives could leave the roads. That made it easier to get very close to some of the more spectacular animals...like lions, leopoards and cheetahs. I shot some video with my iphone that will give you a sense of how close that can be.
If you've read this far and you're thinking, "hey, that looks cool, I'd like to go orienteering and traveling in South Africa," then you should check out the Big 5 O' 2013/14.
Back to okansas.blogspot.com. posted by Michael | 3:47 PM