• Petra Vandecasteele

The InfamousTo-Do List Before Hitting the Road

During the last days that lead up to a road trip, my to-do list invariably grows beyond measure. In no time, my head space spins out of control, following the usual pattern: busy but contained -> overwhelm -> blowing of the fuses -> acceptance of limitations -> restoration of peace. I bet this sounds familiar to you as well!

I put my phone on silent and hide it behind the screen of my laptop, so that I don't see the notifications coming in. Amber, my Cape Town based colleague, is staying with me at my home in the countryside for a few days so that we can use every hour between breakfast and supper to finish off projects and tie up loose ends before we disappear into the bush. Amber for holiday, me for work. Fabulous work, that is. We are frantically busy to the point where my children Enya and James start rolling their eyes. "Really, you both haven't even left your chairs since you got up this morning!" Enya and James are being homeschooled and, thank goodness, they are used to self-study, so that I don't have to be with them every minute of their daily study time!

We have two days left and still need to replace the camera that fell in the water (together with Enya...) and the phone that got damaged because of impact. The downside of living in the countryside is that you have to drive far to get things done.

But hey, it's all worth it. I can't wait to hit the road! Enya and James can barely contain their excitement either. We just LOVE exploring new destinations for Kids of Nature and reporting back to our clients. Seriously, how much better can one's job get? And for my children it's geography, sociology, and language skills at its very best! The cherry on top is that they are my best travel reviewers when it comes to family travel. As the saying goes ‘The proof is in the eating of the pudding’, so if they put their stamp of approval on a destination, we can rest-assured that it works for young people.

This time, we'll be exploring the untamed Elephant Coast with its rich biodiversity, coastal forests, mangrove swamps, savannah grassland and the largest protected wetland in southern Africa. The Elephant Coast extends inland to the Lubombo Mountains in the west and includes the big five Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Reserve.

The second leg of the trip will take us to the Waterberg Biosphere and right up to the most unspoilt part of the Kruger National Park passing through the sacred land of the Venda people.

Did you know?

  • South Africa's largest herd of indigenous African elephants used to live in this area's sand forests which is why it's called the Elephant Coast.

  • The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park – home to more than 850 animal and 2 000 plant species – was one of the first formally established peace parks in southern Africa. This 35 000 km² park links the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, the Kruger National Park in South Africa, and the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe.

  • The Venda culture is built on a vibrant mythical belief system. Water is an important theme and the Venda people believe that lakes and rivers are sacred, and that rains are controlled by the Python God. One of the most sacred sites of the Venda is Lake Fundudzi

Remember to get in touch if you want to experience these fabulous places too and in the meantime, have fun reading the blog posts below.

Check-out our Behind-the-Scenes posts & interviews:

Adventures With Elephants

Save the Waterberg Rhino

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