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Naked Safari by Estelle
Weíve been in the Kruger Park for the last 2 days. Itís hot, yesterday was over 40C, with a hot wind that steals the moisture from your mouth and eyes, today is better early 30s C, but for most people thatís still blooming hot.
We arrived by Jabiru airlines to Phalaborwa, a long stretch of tar runway next to the Kruger Park, itís still hot, my trusted jabiru wants to stay airborne, in a strong crosswind, we land by slide-slipping to earth, forcing it to come down.
The airport tarmac is hot, very hot, we tie the plane down and walk into a pleasant airport, with friendly helpful staff, we rent a car from Avis and within minutes weíre in Phalaborwa, looking for a Spar, Pick & Pay and under this heat a bottlestore. We found a Spar with a Tops a few kmís from the gate and stock up with the essentials Ė Jim bean Black, beer, ice & meat.
The queue at Phalaborwa gate goes quick, unusually so, weíre through the gate with the aircon blazing but unable to keep up, first the short then the shorts go to the back seat. The wife passes me a beer and life is beautiful.
We follow the main road looking for our bush camp, taking dirt road meanders and stopping where possible. Normally at deserted waterholes or next to calm river streams, itís peaceful just the 2 of us, and itís too hot to wear clothes. At certain points we get out but stay close to the car, the rules says no, but if you use a bit of common sense itís safe and with car off youíre part of the environment. Besides there is not a soul around.
In the late afternoon we reach our camp, itís a green oasis next to a section of damned up river, the elephants are playing in the water, with hippo looking on. Our house is a villa, 3 bedroom too many bathrooms, kitchen and veranda next to large shaded trees. We unpack and strip at the same time, in this heat itís insensible otherwise. We have neighbours, they see me, but I canít care in this heat, soon theyíre used to me and we each keep our distance. The sun sets over the horizon, the damn hot wind is still blowing, itís not any cooler than before, the neighbours tell me their car showed 46C. Eish, drinking Jim Bean as if itís just water.
I start a fire for a braai, weíre doing my speciality, lamb chops. Itís getting dark, I am still naked, who cares ...(In my next post Iíll add some naked safari tips)
Day 3, itís a lot cooler, we decide to take a long trip further north. The coolerbox is packed and we set off, the moment weíre out the gate the clothes are off. The plan is to first stop at Mopani, then whatever. We follow the river loop from the bush camp and discover a perfect naturist detour Ė there are plenty of turnoffs to the river bank, one of these is the perfect picnic spot, itís secluded under a wide umbrella tree on the river bank. The next turnoff leads us to a huge baobab tree, we pause take a few pictures, while kudu and giraffe pass us by. Weíre back in the car, this time Estelleís driving, while I relax and play naked bartender. Itís early but what the heck, I am not going to be operating heavy machinery for the rest of the day, and so the first beer is cranked.
As promised here are my naked safari tips:
1. If you donít care, nobody else does. Itís a common law of the universe, so relax and act as if you own the place.
2. Donít listen to the song, donít go west (south or east), go north. Anything north of Phalaborwa is far away from the crowds.
3. Donít stay in a main camps, go for the bush camps, theyíre more isolated, and house less people and are therefore a lot more private. Very important, remember tip 1.
4. Use the dirt roads more, you see more, and you can stop and get out at points along the route without being spotted. Yes, itís not allowed and yes you can get fined and no donít get out next to a pack of lions, unless youíre a British tourist, that is.
5. Very important: remember to get dressed when you enter a camp or rest stop, you donít want to overdo tip 1.
Day 4 and and itís hot again, this time worse, itís sticky as well. The day started under our baobab tree. We found the same sport near the camp and parked under the tree, ripped our clothes off and started opening the first drinks of the day. Yes it early to start drinking, what are you my mother ?
We are forced to move from our bush camp to Mopani, a main camp to the north. We start the nude cruise early and follow the main road and then the dirt roads east to Letaba and then swing north to Mopani. The circle road around Letaba is filled with cars, try and avoid it, Estelle holds a map in front on her each time we spot a car coming the opposite direction, eventually she succumbs to rule 1: if you donít care they donít and drops the maps.
I suspect many a husband is in trouble tonight J We take the river loop after Letaba and find some peace and quiet. Thereís plenty of game next to the river and we have it exclusively, stopping at several points along the route. We start a new game, nude pets Ė where you try and get a pic with an animal in the background. We arrive at Mopani and as we check in at the counter someone wants to call the rangers, they saw poachers killing a rhino close to the camp.
We find our cottage, somehow they know we like privacy as they give us the one furthest away. Itís still hot and sticky, we walk to the bar, and find the swimming pool by accident. Itís cool and inviting and thereís no one around. We go back get towels and a drink and weíre back at the pool. This time thereís a lone single male, getting dressed. I drop my shorts and bomb the water, laughing. I have the pool for myself while Estelle sits on a bench. A couple arrive, I donít care, they even greet me, soon more people arrive, I still donít care. Estelle is thinking ďI donít know this manĒ Ė theyíre thinking ďEuropean touristĒ and try to filter me out Ė heís not here, some couples join me in the pool, their filters saying heís still not here. Estelle hands me my shorts, we leave.
Later we start a braai for dinner, itís too hot to have clothes on, our neighbours are back from their game drive, so what itís still too hot ... Itís been the perfect naked safari. Kruger can be a naturist destination. Itís what you make it. In my experience most textiles will simply ignore you, so itís not for newbies and you have to follow rule 1
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