Passainte Assem

Travel Blogger & Thrill Seeker

Experience (4): Beware of Bush Spiders

You’d enjoy this series more if you read experience (1), (2) & (3) ;)…Enjooooooy!

The owner of the Lodge was named Dee, she showed us around the place; to me it was PERFECT, it just completes my fairytale, this is how I envision adventures. While avoiding the dogs everyone noticed that i feel uncomfortable in pets presence and all laughed out loudly telling me “so tell us again what the hell are you doing in the Wilderness of Africa???”. There were moths everywhere, yuuuuk –forgot to mention that I’m one Hell of a bugs HUGE HATER as well, they totally freak me out-, Dee told me in her stunning South African accent “You a’  in the middle of the bush my dea’ so you might see all kind of bugs, if you spo’ a spide’ this big -the size of her palm- don’t freak out, you’ll think that it’s following you while it’s just following you’ shadow, they a’ so funny”. In the back of my mind “NO THAT’S NOT FUNNY”. She showed us the patio where we’ll be enjoying our meals, the kitchen, and the rooms. It was still hard to believe that we are in the Wilderness of Mother Africa, I made it to South Africa, thank you dear God for turning my dream into reality.

Caption taken by me
Caption taken by me

We checked our bags in, me and Karen at the same room, a double cozy room with an African decoration, a wooden ceiling, a big window overlooking the bush and the bathroom was outside, looked exactly like a room that is meant for safarists. We both headed to the kitchen to help the guys out to get the dinner ready, we were all starving after a long journey on the road. We got introduced to the 2 teenagers, Tineal -Dee’s daughter- & her school friend Nathan -Nattan in South African-, they were so happy to have us in the kitchen; who kept assuring us that the dinner will be ready in no time. Karen started to ask them to hand her the salad ingredients, I started to imitate her & asked for ingredients as well -that looked very fresh- and a knife, we started to make the salad while talking with Tineal & Nattan who told us “You seem to be very nice, you a’  the first guests who ente’ed the kitchen, just a couple of days ago we had a group of snob guests who we we’e arguing about everything. You know what Wally told us that the’e a’e muslims in the group so I asked a muslim friend at school whe’e to buy Halal Meat from and he told me about a sto’e nea’  by that mum & I went to, to get all the needed food”. Nattan wasn’t as talkative as Tineal but he mentioned several times that he wants to come to Egypt one day as he is amazed by our ancient history.

Caption taken by me
Caption taken by me

The salad was ready, the food was ready, Dee called to us & said: “toni’t we have cottage pie & chicken pie fo’ dinne’ so enjoy you’ meal”. The food was yummmmi, Dee baked us fresh bread that we spreaded butter on, we kept eating for long and had refilled our dishes several times, while telling each other that the place is amazing and that some of us couldn’t believe that they were in the middle of the bushes. There were all kind of bugs flying around even dropping in our plates -on the first 2 days I was disgusted, and said to myself “Are you seriously enjoying this?” then I got used to it to the extent that I would just shake my hand to scare them away-, we were done eating Dee started to discuss our itinerary telling us about a hell of things to do. Spotting animals at Game Reserves, sharing cages with them at Rehabilitation Centers, River Ride, Watching a Lion Kill, Elephant Safari, Tree topping that Karen and I mentioned, Sky diving -that I mentioned. So we were set to go tomorrow to Kruger National Park [1] as planned then to Moholoholo Rehab Center. We also agreed on going skydiving –I will skydive but all of them will come to observe and take photos-, tree topping -Karen & I- & going on elephant safari -all of us- in the days to come if only we had time. The biggest argument was about going to a Lion Kill or not, our votes were half and half -I voted not to go spot that animal kill which I thought was very cruel and heart aching, but I now regret it badly, & wished I could see it, for God’s sake that’s Mother Nature!

by National Geographic
by National Geographic

After eating, talking and chilling out. We all headed to our rooms to unpack. I went to the bathroom & before using anything I double-checked that there wasn’t any bugs hiding or any unseen creepy creatures. Thank God that I did because this is how I’ve spotted the biggest spider that I’ve ever seen in my life, standing next to the toilet as if waiting for me -adrenaline rush again, an Egyptian proverb says “When you get scared of ghosts, you find them right there waiting for you”, it was a spider alike the ones on tv, on National Geographic or Discovery Channel; those huge ones with thick hairy legs. Running to the room in hysteria “Kareeeeen, Heeeelp, I just spotted the biggest spider that I’ve ever seen in my life, it is too big, please help me get rid of it & I’ll do you whatever you want”, she laughed out loudly & said: “You’ll do me anything I want?”, I nodded “Hell, yes”. We headed to the bathroom, I showed her the monster that scared the hell out of me & she simply crushed it with her sandals -while they were on- it felt like if the spider was running all over me, she then removed it & put it in the trash can, and told me while unable to control her laughter “that’s the biggest spider you’ve ever seen??? It’s a small one, you must see the ones that we have in Arizona”.

Caption taken by me
Caption taken by me

I went back to the bathroom after double-checking again every spot, you never know what surprises might be hiding, I seriously had a feeling that the spider would come alive out of the trash can and haunt me down for eternity, but thankfully it didn’t, I took a shower while imagining that snakes will suddenly come out of the wooden ceiling, then headed to my room, Dee came to give us water jars, and showed us the way to the fridge where I can put my thermos and energy drink ready for tomorrow.I got my clothes ready black bermuda pants & a t-shirt that I bought from Turkey from a souvenir shop in Grand Bazar -a.k.a. Byazite-, put them on the chair, along with socks and shoes, because I knew that by morning I’ll be too exhausted & too excited to get myself ready for the long awaited journey, packed my backpack, it already contained half of my pocket money put in secret pockets, my passport, & my guide book, binoculars -borrowed from a close friend in college-, sun glasses, cap, camera, its lenses, an umbrella -borrowed from dad, that he had since he was in Budapest, sometime like 18 years ago 🙂 -, a chocolate bar. Even put my Vitamins & Malaria pills next to bed to swallow them the 1st thing in the morning.

After I was done packing, my roomy was already sleeping, I took a tiny notebook out of my backpack and while staring at the window, enjoying the sound of shower rain, I started to write a summary, very brief & short notes, only highlights about what has happened in the last couple of days and decided to write everything about this yet unforgettable trip. I almost couldn’t sleep from the excitement as well as the sound of shower rain. But finally I fell asleep while dreaming of my first encounter of the wilderness of Africa.

on the web
on the web

[1] is the largest game reserve in South Africa. Nearly 2 million hectares of land that stretch for 352 kilometres (20 000 square kilometres) from north to south along the Mozambique border, is given over to an almost indescribable wildlife experience. Certainly it ranks with the best in Africa and is the flagship of the country’s national parks – rated as the ultimate safari experience. The Kruger National Park lies across the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo in the north of South Africa, just south of Zimbabwe and west of Mozambique. It now forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park – a peace park that links Kruger National Park with game parks in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and fences are already coming down to allow game to freely roam in much the way it would have in the time before man’s intervention. When complete, the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park will extend across 35 000 square kilometres, 58% of it South African, 24% Mozambican and 18% Zimbabwean territory. This is the land of baobabs, fever trees, knob thorns, marula (out of which Amarulla the most famous national alcoholic drink is made) and mopane trees underneath which lurk the Big Five, the Little Five (buffalo weaver, elephant shrew, leopard tortoise, ant lion and rhino beetle), the birding Big Six (ground hornbill, kori bustard, lappet-faced vulture, martial eagle, pel’s fishing owl and saddle-bill stork) and more species of mammals than any other African Game Reserve. The Kruger Park is a self-drive destination, although there are guided tour operators, with an excellent infrastructure that includes picnic sites, rest camps, waterholes and hides. The Kruger Park is a remarkable reserve offering an incredible experience of Africa at its most wild


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