Thursday, March 1, 2012

Zulu Nyala Tent Camp

The flight from Joburg to Richards Bay was uneventful. On a prop plane, like flying Horizon. We were going to rent a phone there for emergencies, but the only retail at that tiny airport was the 10 rental car companies.  So the phone will wait for later. We rode for an hour and a half to get to Nyala passing mile after mile of eucalyptus grove. The driver said they use it to make paper, poles, and soap. Then it was mile after mile of sugar. Finally we arrived about 1:00.

As we walked to our ‘tents’ we saw our first wildlife. Zebras feeding, female nyalas prancing around, Vervit monkeys frolicking, and several birds flying around greeted us. The zebras are so tame they practically come up on the deck, but not tame enough to touch or feed. Of course feeding any wild thing is absolutely forbidden here. 
Tent Interior

Outside View of Our Tent
The View From Our Deck
Our ‘tent’ has foot-thick plaster walls interspersed with floor-to-ceiling screens for windows. The bathroom has both a large triangular tub and glass shower. They are in drought conditions here so we were asked not to use the tub, but the shower is fine since they do have a nice pool. The main room has a large sitting area separated from the bed by a short wall. We can sit on the deck and watch the animals and birds wander in the field in front of us. 

Mom and the Kids (Nyala)

It has been a hot day
A short walk takes us to the dining area and curio shop. At times we have to walk through the zebras to get anywhere, but they are too tame to mind. They  just mosey out of the way. Several trees have weaver colonies. These are the birds that weave their nests into a ball which they enter from the side or bottom. Perhaps 100 pair will populate one tree. Another route takes us past the crocodile pond. Filled with cat-tails (or something similar), the pond is home for over a dozen strikingly beautiful southern red bishops. They seem to like the reeds as much as our red-winged blackbirds. Swallows are a continuous presence over the fields. That probably helps account for the lack of mosquitoes. Lots of other bugs of various sizes and persuasions, but no mosquitoes.

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