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Published: June 22nd 2017
Verra nice too!
Geo: -25.3406, 31.7709
Another superb dinner last night. Francois is the representative of the family that owns the lodge and he is very warm and hospitable. His mum Joyce baked a lovely chocolate cake for Rob's birthday and we all toasted and sang Happy Birthday (including in Africaans). Gerard, the 74 year-old patriarch is very involved in developing a new lodge a few hours away in Mozambique. He loves to talk about the country and the people, in a paternalistic and caring way. Joyce made sure that her son Etienne sang for us at dinner. He is a professional opera singer and also a very good chef.
Andy and Ela are staying only four days and they are off again today for another full day safari into Kruger. We are going to an elephant encounter at Kwa Madwala private game reserve this afternoon and have a relaxed schedule.
Umpteen varieties of biltong are for sale in the local shops. Didn't think much of ostrich, but the impala biltong was quite good.
The elephant encounter was great. A 22 year old male and a 26 year old female were brought out of the bush for the visit. Their handler Amos explained what they ate, how big
Four course fine dining at the lodge. Had to modify my intake last night as the previous night I was too full!
they'd grow (full size at age 35-40, the male would double in weight and add about a metre in height), their temperaments, etc. African elephants are trained with ask and reward, and Amos was disparaging of the training of Asian elephants, which apparently is about authority and submission.
We fed them pellets and their breath was warm and not stinky. They showed us their teeth that are replaced six times in their life. Then unless they are tame and hand fed, they will die from starvation, usually about 65 years old.
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