As I was packing my stuff for our 10 day holiday, my best friend here in the bush, Emmie, phoned me to say she was going to a party that night and if I wanted to come too. When you live in the bush you don’t get to go out much at all. I mean, we do have our get-togethers every now and then, plus when you make the choice to live a completely different lifestyle you have to accept the fact that the nearest city could well be a couple of hours away. But that doesn’t mean you don’t just want to get out every now and then, away from the place where you eat, sleep and work, where news travels faster than light and where everyone knows about each others dirty laundry.
Emmie has left our lodge unfortunately and is now working at a different place in the Sabi Sands, but despite the fact that she is now about an hour away from me didn’t stop me from going to see her. I got in the car and headed off. It was my first time driving by myself, at night, in the Sands and not even 15 minutes after I left I spotted something on the road in front of me. For a second I thought it was a hyena. We get them in camp all the time at work, so I was quite used to them by now. But as I got closer I realized it was much slimmer and elegant. Oh and plus there wasn’t just one of them, there were two: Two incredibly beautiful leopards!!! And they were so close! I was jumping in my seat and squealing like a school girl. Although I’ve seen leopards before, the fact that I was alone made it so much more exciting. If you told me a year ago that I would be driving myself in one of Africa’s most prestigious game reserves to a party in the middle of the bush at a lodge that is owned by THE Richard Branson, I would have laughed and told you you were crazy, but I really was.
After a couple of minutes they got annoyed with me following them and disappeared into the bushes, but not before looking back at me and giving me a friendly “you’re-really-starting-to-piss-me-off-now” roar. It’s moments like these when I feel so grateful and fortunate to be experiencing such amazing things. It truly makes you feel alive.
Eventually I found the lodge and arrived in one piece. I met a lot of new people that night and had an amazing time. The next morning however…. I could feel I’d had a great night. I woke up with a smile of my face though when I saw that Emmie had bought me chips (my absolute favorite food) and Gouda cheese (for those who don’t know, it’s the place I was born and lived most of my life).
Lance and I were going on holiday today, so I grabbed my stuff and headed back, but not without stopping a couple more times to admire the views and appreciate the life I’m living right now.