This is our last full day at Fika Futi and I for one would like to stay another week and I know the others in the group would also like a bit more time here.
We decided to have a shorter drive this morning, only four hours and while we did not see any cats we did see the hyenas again but as it was very cold the small cubs were not out and playing but were snug and warm in the den while we were a little bit cold on the open vehicle. Our drive today took us along the banks of the Motloutse river and while we saw very few animals we did have the opportunity to look out on some magnificent scenery. Mashatu which means land of giants is a truly inspiring landscape, with vistas that go on for as far as the eye can see. Never ending horizons with hills and open plains and each time you stop and look out onto a new view you are rewarded with yet another spectacular view.
Today was another day for giraffes, it really is quite astounding the numbers we have been seeing and lots of new borns. Over the past six days we have been treated to the most wonderful sightings and while a lot of people talk about the big 5 it is nice to look out for some of the smaller creatures and of course the birds. We have seen 100 different species of birds in the past six days including, the Vereaux Eagle Owl, Black Stork, the Saddle Billed Stock, Meyer’s Parrot, the Namaqua Sandgrouse to name just a few. Mashatu is a wonderful place for anyone interested in birding.
Our last sunset was at Graphite’s favourite spot in the reserve, a small koppie with breathtaking views over the plains below and an horizon that goes on forever. It is from here that, with a drink in hand we saw our last sunset in Mashatu.
To celebrate our great holiday I arranged for one of our staff to make a traditional South African dinner for us, a potjie. This is a stew normally made of beef or game that is cooked outdoors over a fire in a potjiekos which literally means a “small-pot food”. The pot is made of cast iron and has three legs that sit over the fire and if you are to follow tradition you never stir a potjie. You put your meat on the bottom of the pot, layer the vegetables on top and add your liquid and spices and let it slowly cook. Potjies are so popular in South Africa that there are even competitions and the rivalry amongst the entrants is fierce. Our potjie was chicken and it was so good, even if it was not made with traditional meat which was not possible as we were unable to bring meat across the Botswana border due to a recent outbreak of foot and mouth in South Africa.
Photo courtesy of Graphite – Fika Futi