Ally’s Bush Tales has been a dream of mine for several years. Having a family with 4 very busy children, has been a big factor as to why it has taken me this long to get going, but here we are – finally!
When asked about Africa, people from all corners of the world immediately think of the African Bush (unless, sadly, their first thoughts are about corruption and crime, which is rife in certain parts). The Bush is a huge attraction and many tourists travel here every year to experience the exquisite natural beauty first hand. I would like to share some of my experiences and stories of the African Bush. Mainly, I’d like to share my love of the Bush, but at times I may get practical, because if you haven’t visited before, you may appreciate some advice! Where I can, I will give additional information about topics – but the facts will be referenced to a proper source where possible.
At this point I need to specify that I am not an expert. I am not a trained field guide or professional conservationist. I am simply a fervent fan of the Bush, having spent as many hours experiencing it as life has permitted me, together with my other passion – which is Travel.
Luckily for me, my husband is just as passionate about the Bush as I am! Our children, well, possibly not so much. They tolerate our passion (they don’t have too much of a choice really!) and have been dragged to various countries and game parks from the time that they were born.
I remember my friends and family looking at me like I’d lost the plot entirely when we decided to undertake a 3 week, 5000km trip to Botswana, Zimbabwe, the Kruger National Park and Mozambique with a 7 year old, two 6 year olds and a baby still in nappies! Plenty of raised eyebrows and questions like “but what about malaria?” later, off we went – but that is really a story for another time!
Since you will be journeying through the Bush with me and my family, let me quickly introduce them. Hubby is a Chartered Accountant, pretty good at his job and with a flair for amateur photography. He has a semi-professional camera with various lenses that he is happy to lug around with him and fortunately he’s quite happy to share his fabulous pics with me. (I have a well-loved Canon point-and-shoot camera that takes surprisingly good quality photos).
Then we have “The Teenagers” – numbers 1, 2 and 3 – mainly happy when they have a good book series or semi decent WiFi, which I’m careful to provide them with, especially when on a Bush break. If that fails, chocolate generally does the trick. The eldest is 14 and her twin sisters are 13. They are nothing like each other. A definite case of nature not nurture going on here. I am not even going to try to describe the different personalities of each of them – what if they read this after all? Lol.
Our littlest rounds off the pack, and she definitely proves the concept “last but not least”. Surprisingly, she loves the bush the most (possibly a factor of her age, which is 9). Her favourite animal is a Honey Badger and I’m pretty sure she chose this due to the similarities in personality. The Honey Badger looks like a cute little fellow, but you don’t want to get on the wrong side of it! As many predators know, it is hard enough to figure out which the right side is exactly, because the Honey Badger can turn around within its own skin. I kid you not! The Guinness Book of Records has the Honey Badger down as the “most fearless creature” and the South African Defence Force even named an army vehicle after it, called the ‘Ratel’, pronounced Rah – till, which is its Afrikaans name.
Pretty terrifying really, and adjectives that come to mind when describing this small but ferocious creature are persistent, tenacious, resolute and practically invincible. Zaza is all of those things in abundance as her sisters will happily testify!
We had a run in with 2 honey badgers trying to raid our outside fridge at Tamboti Camp in the Kruger National Park a couple of years ago – thank goodness forewarned is forearmed, because they nearly won that battle of wills – you are very likely to come second when taking on Mellivora capensis!
Well, enough about me, I digress. Pull up a chair and let’s explore Africa together!