So, this is my last blog post from my last week in Kruger, which is also my last week of the official Year in the Wild 2013-14. I’m still processing (in my head and heart) much of what I’ve seen, and I’ll upload a blog in the next few weeks that tries to distill the essence of what I’ve learnt and felt.
Pafuri is my favourite part of Kruger. Located in the very north of the park, the scenery is completely different to the rest of the 2 million hectare protected area. Fever tree forests, lush riverine bush, beautiful rivers and hundreds and hundreds of baobabs.
The birdlife in this area is considered the best in the park too, but for me, another great reason to come here is Thula Mela, the reconstructed ruins of a civilisation dating back to about 1450 AD. Experts reckon about 2 000 people (ancestors of today’s Shona and Tsonga people) lived here, with cattle and farm fields, but also trading ivory and other items with surrounding tribes and communitites. Two “royal” graves were also found, and after the skeletons and artefacts were studied, the bones were re-interred.
It’s the second time I’ve been here, and once again, I was moved by the experience. It’s a very beautiful spot, on top of a series of small hills, overlooking the Levuvhu River. There are at least 50 baobabs in the vicinity, and the reconstructed walls are beautiful, and a credit to the stone masons who used the original rocks.
The guides are excellent, especially Daniel Shibambu, who makes the place come alive through sheer enthusiasm and love for the place. Phil Lennon from 50/50 TV program was filming me at Thula Mela, and the guides made it that much easier to do the shoot!
For more, go to www.yearinthewild.com and www.facebook.com/yearinthewild. Check out my Flickr photos at www.flickr.com/scottnramsay and my Instagram photos at www.instagram.com/wildscotty. Twitter on www.twitter.com/yearinthewild.
Conservation partners BirdLife South Africa, Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks, CapeNature, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Gorongosa National Park, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Parque Nacional do Limpopo, South African National Parks and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.