Tala Game Reserve

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Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Durban
January 30th 2009
Published: June 13th 2017
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Geo: -29.853, 31.0164

Wednesday 28/01/09 At Sea

Left Cape Town 04:00 4 hrs late due to a force 9 gale preventing the pilot & tugs manoeuvring the ship through 270 degrees in order to depart the port, eventually they had to get the senior pilot and the 3 biggest tugs available to perform the manoeuvre and so eventually we started out on route for Durban.

The weathers improved as the day's progressed with winds now force 6, it's a grey day but the temperature is still a very pleasant 21°C. despite the wind & swell it's not too bad. I'll have to nip up to the cyberstudy tonight to catch up with emails & blogs etc.

Thursday 29/01/09 At Sea Temps Air 24°C Sea 23°C

Weather's calmed down now with just a slight swell, nothing to worry about. I go to the gym at 07:30 on sea days, it actually opens at 08:00 but if you want to get in and do a session, get back to your cabin, shower, and get to the restaurant the before it closes at 09:30 you need to be there early as there's people queuing from 07:30 and after 07:45 there's so many in the queue that you'll not get on any equipment, so the only alternative is the early morning keep fit group and there's no way I'm doing that.

The reason I only go to gym on sea days is there's not enough time to go when were in port as were off sightseeing and I'm too tired when I get back. After a recent experience I don't bother to attend if there's any significant sea swell, as I found it rather disconcerting to be on the treadmill or cross trainer going for all I'm worth whilst being thrown from side to side or backwards and forwards hanging on the frame for dear life, it certainly get the adrenaline going though, um might be a viable alternative to the power plate.

Friday 30/01/09 Durban - South Africa Temp Air 26°C

Arrived 08:00 to brilliant blue skies with few clouds. We'd booked to go to the Tala Game Reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal hills which covers 7000 Hectares and is different in that there are no large predatory carnivores, which gives the animals a less skittish and more approachable demeanour. We opted to travel in a Land Rover Defender, so made our way over to a line of them parked on one side whilst the majority mounted a raised staging area to enable them to gain level access to the vehicles. As soon as some of them noticed we had made our way over to the line of jeeps there was an almighty rush to join us. Linda got into the front passenger seat ( prime position ) and I just managed to get in the row directly behind her but before we could say anything they were swarming all over the sides like bloody locusts, some were moaning they couldn't get their legs up high enough (I should explain that there's no running boards only 1 narrow footplate approx. 2 foot off the ground and then another about 9" above that then you can open the door and get in) others managed to get one foot on the first footplate and when they tried to get their other foot up to the next footplate ended up losing their balance, swinging around and dropping back off again, some were pushing their other halves up by there backsides, you've never seen such a debacle, and moan, well you should have heard them; and all because they thought they were missing out and wouldn't wait until the jeeps were brought to the staging ramp.

The drive through the reserve was a real treat and as most of the animals had recently had young we felt really privileged to have close encounters with them, especially the Rhino's, and Giraffe's. There were Hippo's wallowing in the lake with their young and herds of Wildebeest, Zebra's, Kudu, Springboks, & Impala, along with numerous other animals & birds whose names I can't remember.

Durban's not what we expected, we had hoped to spend a little time going around the town centre but it is one of only two places in the world where I've felt intimidated, and reluctantly we decided to return to the ship and stay on board. Later that evening we discovered that one of the returning coaches was stoned by local youths, smashing one of the windows and injuring 5 passengers, um once again gut instinct proved to be correct, however all that aside it was a great day and one I'll always remember.

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