But, let’s rewind back, back before we reached this magnificent place (much more magnificent than we imagined) to yesterday when we drove from Prince Albert through to Oudtshoorn and then to here. It was a lovely drive and David hardly ever used his windshield wiper indicator to change lanes and we didn’t get lost once. A success!
There is nothing I like more than a drive. This one (with all the stops) took us around six hours. The scenery seemed to change all the time. We kept comparing it to different parts of B.C. “This looks like parts around Williams Lake.” “No, now it’s like Radium.” “This is like coming into Osoyoos.” Then there were palm trees, so it wasn’t like anyplace in BC at all. We were able to stop at certain spots and take some photos, especially of the beautiful Rocky bits. South Africa is so beautiful, it’s been great having the car and just being able to go at our own pace.
Armed with this essential knowledge, we confidently fed the ostriches, stood relatively close to them, stood on their eggs and even allowed our children to ride them. I did not tell any of the ostriches that I ate an ostrich burger in Cape Town, however, because that just seemed cruel. Although they did serve ostrich at the Safari Ostrich Show Farm restaurant…
Just as an aside, some people that are familiar with South Africa may wonder why we picked Botlierskop over Kruger National Park. We actually were originally going to go to Tanzania but airfare costs between South Africa, Tanzania and Ethiopia would’ve killed our budget so we had to leave Tanzania on the cutting room floor.
When looking at Game drives in South Africa, ultimately, it came down to three things: Botlierskop is closer than Kruger – it’s just four hours direct drive from Cape Town. Also, in my research, I read that large Safari game drives are best for older kids in their early teens and up. Kids that can understand that you can go out for a few hours but might not see many animals. Our kids are ten and would be really disappointed if we didn’t see animals. One only has to read Bereket’s blog to know how devastated he’d be. They love animals. Botlierskop has around 3,500 hectares of land for its game drives and all the animals are free roaming on it (with the exception of the elephants and lions). So, when you go out for your twice daily three-hour drives, you see lots of animals. But the third reason (and most important) I wanted Botlierskop was the bathtub in the Family tent.
The rest of the tent is beautiful and we even have our own splash pool (which Bereket takes quite literally)! The beds are super comfy and, after supper, the whole tent is zipped down and the electric blankets are turned on to get your bed all toasty because our tent is very enclosed and was quite cool at night. We’ve never stayed anywhere so fancy. Even on a cruise, our room is never fancy, it’s one of the cheapest rooms on the ship. This is pretty amazing and surprising – I truly didn’t get past the bathtub when researching.
Each of us took something different and then Bereket went back for seconds so we tried everything but beef:
· Crocodile…is exactly like you would think crocodile should taste like. It tastes like fish with a reptile tang to it. Not good, (in the Quinn’s estimation, mind you.)
· Eland… is simply heaven. It is so good. They farm them here because the meat is so much healthier than beef. It’s delicious. Ostrich… is the poor man’s Eland. Good, but not Antelope!
· The Yellow Tail fish was delicious. If I tire of Eland every night, I’ll go with this.
· Waterbuck… was so gamey, it was like eating Elk or moose. Not my favourite but the kids liked it.
· And Karoo Lamb is delicious. Bereket loves Lamb, so it was he who went back for seconds and came to the table with both lamb and waterbuck (but he originally took the crocodile, so who can blame him)?
Then, the desserts were a choice of three – chocolate nut strudel, lemon meringue pie and a panacotta. We were stuffed and very tired. David still needed to post the blog so we went back to the room (carts are mandatory after dark) to our warm blankets, water bottles and chocolates on our pillows and David came back soon after. It was a short night of sleep because our first game drive was to be at 6am.
That’s all for now. Thanks again for reading. Merry Christmas!!