The next morning was a 5:30am start, which led to miserable and tired kids echoing from the back of the car. Mine (especially being a girl) was in a particularly fantastic mood! We’d found out that our original planned route through Pont Drift border was not an option due to heavy rains which had flooded the area and caused the border to close, so we had to drive back through Martins Drift which added an extra 200km onto our journey which wasn’t bloody close to anything we’d planned!!!
The road from the border to Alldays was absolutely atrocious and slowed us down tremendously. We ran around trying to restock on groceries in this one horse town, as we were in a self catering chalet and Mapungubwe unfortunately didn’t have any facilities to buy food. We made it into the park by the skin of our teeth and wound our way into the rocky valley in-between the baobabs and the denim night sky which was scattered with stars.
Leokwe Camp is situated in between a big rocky outcrop and is very picturesque. The chalets are well equipped and built in such a way so that one doesn’t feel as though your neighbors are on top of you. There is a central rock pool for visitors which is a pleasing welcome to escape the searing summer temperatures which sit at an average of 40 degrees during the middle of the day. The only disappointment was that the road network through the park wasn’t too extensive, which makes game drives a bit short and not worth sticking around for much longer than a 2 night/3 day stay.
On our last day we went looking for elephants and took a walk along the treetop boardwalk which has gorgeous views out over the confluence of the Shashe & Limpopo Rivers. From the main viewpoint you can glance across the plains of both Zimbabwe & Botswana at the same time and see elephants relaxing in the shade of the enormous sausage trees on the other side. We also took a drive to their stunning museum which is very well set up with all the history from the area and is well worth a visit. When we got back to camp we even made 2 ‘braaied’ birthday cakes so that we could celebrate both Jordy’s and my birthdays (yes, you can bake a cake on a braai), and then we sat at the pool munching them down and sharing pieces with the hundreds of rainbow lizards who were eagerly waiting for the falling crumbs. All the evenings here were spent around a roaring bonfire as we watched the stars encircling us and listening to hyenas in the surrounding bush (and of course a few mugs of Amarula coffee, purely nostalgic purposes)!
All too soon we’d come to the end of our holiday and a glass of red wine with a silhouetted baobab backdrop was the perfect end to it… There were lots of ups and downs, great things that were memorable to all of us, which will last a lifetime, and things that didn’t go as planned, but that, at the end of the day, is expedition life! The story is the journey, not the destination. Our destination is home and that on its own is an ongoing daily story…