Alex and I head out early in the morning to ride around the lodge and see the animals. After our ride we feed the rhinos and buffalos as the area has had a severe drought and not enough grazing land is available.
After a morning with the animals I head out to do some riding around Hoedspruit.
I head towards Mariepskop mountain on my bike. Shortly after the first turn off on to gravel I come across a broken down Land Cruiser. The driver flags me down and asks for a ride to the gas station near the edge of town. I bring him back and while there run into two families heading up the mountain on quads and dirt bikes. The children insist I ride with them so I head back towards Mariepskop with them. To say the least the kids are a little haywire. They are constantly revving their two-stroke motors which is quite annoying as I am trying to have a conversation with their dad. Within a kilometre the first bike needs the spark plug replaced which is pilfered from the slowest bike, so at least as a group we speed up. We carry on up the hill stopping to wait for the quad and truck to catch up. At one point I wish I was a kid without any fear of breaking my vehicle or myself but to make it through Africa (and because I am a wuss) I will play it safe and take it easy heading up the mountain. We reach a small area of lodge houses and start up the braai (bbq), there is no point carrying on up the mountain as the top is clouded in. While we wait for the braaiwors (sausage) to cook we head to an abandoned military post and check it out. It is three abandoned buildings that are quite eerie looking in the mist. After our braai we head down the hill this results in the quad being flipped over backwards and one of the dirt bikes engines seizing. Proving slow and steady wins the race I make it to the bottom first and without injury.
Alex and I go out with two other rangers trying to track down two of the buffalo that are in the back forty. This turns into a three hour forced march through the bush. Being on the motorcycle most days has not improved my physical conditioning (not that it was good to start with) and I am pretty tired by the end. We stop for a break to rehydrate and Alex and I opt to stay at camp instead of continuing on tracking the buffalo. I really don’t understand how an animal that big can move through brush like that. Because we never found any buffalos I am attaching pictures of termites nests. I didn’t do anything else exciting that day as I am coming down with a cold.