Our Kgalagadi Summer: Part 1 - Mata Mata
2022 had been tough. We got to the end feeling broken. We needed a break and none is better than the bush.
We left at 3am from Cape Town, 11 hours to Twee Rivieren. 12 hours later we arrived and with an exhausted husband, who won't be a passenger, we asked if we could transfer our first night at Twee rivieren for Mata Mata so that we do not set up again the next day. So 6 nights at Mata Mata it was, we got lucky - but we arrived late, 16-17hours later, finished.
Hardly paying attention to sightnings we saw antelope and more common birds of the region but didn't stop much. Setting up was much more difficult than we anticipated, ground was as hard as addo (compounded but leaving out mallet behind thanks to a school camp which re-arranged our stuff). Jay was finished and the kids couldn't swim because the pool closes at 19h30. We were mostly set up by 20h30, in the dark. Started the coals for chicken burgers, which, by the time were ready, Josh was sleeping. We showered, had a quick bite and electricity off at 10. That's when spiders came out and I decided I'm going in, to find one on the inside roof of out tent. So much for a zipped tent at all times. Fortunately it was the last for the trip (that we know of).
It was a very rough night, still over 30 degrees and the wind started picking up to 10km/hr. It was pitch black, hot 🔥
In the morning, however, wes were reminded why we came. Unreal sunrise, amazing cool temp and so peaceful. It felt like heaven. We got up early but only got out at 6am, later than hoped. Kids where happy. Had a bite and made our way out.
Our first drive out was excellent. Constantly seeing awesome birds, jackal, cheetha, giraffe antelope. Then time for a swim in an empty Mata mata and lunch braai.
We went out in the afternoon after a lovely lunch braai and swim. We did a shorter drive and found the morning most productive. We got some resting cheetah sightingsunder a tree and superb lanner falcons flying and playing. We came back to cream cheese and crackers and then the excitement really began. First, after the sun started disappearing, we watched the sky light up, no thunder, just distant lightning. Then the wind picked up, memories of Shingwedzi, watching every one batten down the hatches. Sparks and belongings flying (not ours) we started to move our tables closer the tent, secure pegs and film and watch. Our first Kalahari sand, thunder and lightning storm. A bucket list item.
After an hour of heavy wind, the lighting was followed by thunder and rain. We stayed outside, still warm, and admired our first kalahari thunderstorm. It was epic. The kids came out to watch and we all stood in the rain enjoying the show.
Next time, picnics, cheetha and lion give us a show. As always, raptors, antelope and a moment to celebrate Christmas. Wifi calls to family everyday. In our new video below, we have tried a voice over, nervously, hopefully adding more context :)