We met up with Brian, who drove us all the way up the coast through Port Elizabeth and on to Shamwari Game Reserve. It took 5 hours in all. Bayethe Lodge is tented accommodation (although you would never really know you were actually in a tent!) set in very peaceful surroundings of rich vegetation giving a real feeling of seclusion with spectacular views of the African bush.
Shamwari - Bayethe Lodge
Shamwari – Bayethe Lodge. Privacy please!

Brian said he spoke 3 languages – Afrikaans, English and nonsense! He chatted with us for most of the drive, which was a great way of learning about South Africa. This is just a small sample of what we learned.

There is no public transport outside the cities here, so you often see people walking alongside even very busy roads hoping for a free lift – or offering to pay for one .  70 percent of motorists carry no insurance, there is no requirement for an annual MOT and there is no points system for traffic offences. The vast majority of cars are white – to reflect the sun. The King of Swaziland has 52 wives. There is 32 percent unemployment and 10 – 15 percent of the population is illiterate.

Learning Afrikaans- Thank you very much is pronounced “buy a donkey”

Best travel tip – Keep some spare 2 and 1 rand coins handy – most of the toilets are coin operated.

Highlight – Arrival at Shamwari and our first game drive, where we we saw a lion.

The really scary thing is … – the lion is the beige coloured hump on the right – it looks just like a termit mound, which are everyhwhere here.  You could easily have driven straight past and missed it.  The kill from earlier in the day is on the left of the photo – see the ribcage – there is not much left. The lion was very full and content, so took little interest in the fact we were parked up so close to it

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