Sunday, May 10, 2015

A ranger's picnic breakfast by the river at the MalaMala Game Reserve

On a game drive
at the MalaMala Game Reserve,
living a #Travelife

So there we were the other day in Africa, living a #Travelife, ready to go out for a three-hour morning game drive at the MalaMala Game Reserve when our ranger Greg Baldwin, who happens to be the head ranger for the entire MalaMala Game Reserve and its four lodges, made an interesting suggestion.

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March 2016
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He asked us: "How would you like to have a picnic breakfast in the bush, instead of coming back to the lodge?"

Frankly, I'm not the best girl scout in the world, although I love al fresco lunches and dinners where all I have to do is sit and eat.

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A PICNIC BREAKAST AFTER MY OWN HEART

Fortunately he continued: "Someone will set everything up for us and we'll just drive over after our game drive and it will all be ready except for the cooking. Then it will basically be just us, and I'll make breakfast."

That sounded nice. And, game for adventure in a never-ending #Travelife, as always, we said yes.

A BETTER THAN EXPECTED BREAKFAST



This outdoor breakfast sure turned out way nicer than it seemed to us at the beginning, when Greg had suggested it.

Greg wasn't kidding about having everything already beautifully prepared for us, either.


When we got the camp site after our game drive, everything was set up so beautifully by the river that the whole scene could have come from some upscale lifestyle magazine.

Proper table cloths, a counter filled with a buffet of breakfast goodies, and two cooking stations waiting to be used.

How wonderful was that?

A TREAT FOR LONG-STAYING GUESTS

At the villa at Rattrays
on the MalaMala Game Reserve,
living a #Travelife

This outdoor breakfast is a special arrangement made by MalaMala for long-staying guests at any of its four camps, on a request basis, by the way.

If you're just staying two nights or so, you're unlikely to be able to do this as there wouldn't be enough time.



And just like clockwork on that beautiful morning in Africa, a huge family of elephants appeared from the other side of the river to drink.

So we had the picture-perfect set-up for breakfast, and a scene out of a wildlife movie on the other side.


ELEPHANTS IN THE WILD

I was watching the elephants from a safe place by the river banks as the guys did the dirty work of getting the barbecue to work, when suddenly the elephants began to move our way -- and quite quickly.

There they were, thumping through the water and making their way towards us. This is the bush so there's no such thing as taking things easy, so I alerted Greg even if they were still a safe few hundred meters away.


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ELEPHANTS WALKING OUR WAY


"Uh, Greg," I said, calling out to him. He was busy setting up the fires.

He looked up at me. So I continued: "The elephants are coming our way and pretty fast."

Yes, by now, they were in a rush, heading up our path to our breakfast place. Perhaps they also wanted scrambled eggs for breakfast.

ESCAPE OPTIONS 
WITH ELEPHANTS IN FRONT OF US



I was already thinking about jumping into the jeep, especially as I was in the first line of fire of the stampede, but Greg ever so cool said to us: "Get back here by the fires and stay out of sight."

Then, he got a big stick and went to the river banks and started waving his arms and making noises. Obviously the elephants understood him eventually as they moved away and took another path.

How cool was that?

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March 2016
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for more details

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WHAT TO DO NEXT TIME

He explained: "There was really no danger. We just had to let the elephants know that we were here first and usually they'll stay out of our way unless provoked."

Wow. Good thing to remember the next time I encounter wild elephants while on a picnic, living a #Travelife.

SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH SMOKED SALMON
FOR BREAKFAST

The guys did the bacon and sausages
on the grill

Then it was my turn to get to work.

Greg was supposed to do all the cooking, but I just couldn't resist doing a bit of cooking out in the bush, especially if another ranger was coming back after we were done to do the cleaning up.

Talk about a no-stress luxury breakfast in the bush.



So while the guys fried the bacon and sausages, I set about breaking eggs, adding cream and milk, and chopping up some smoked salmon that the MalaMala chefs had thoughtfully added into our picnic basket.


EVERYTHING TASTES WONDERFUL 
WHEN FRESH AIR'S INVOLVED



Then I made scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, which tasted delicious out in the bush that morning.

Nothing like a picnic breakfast in the bush with a herd of elephants for company, on just another wonderful morning in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this. I'm planning a safari holiday with my wife and son, and you have just convinced me to book our safari at MalaMala. It was a hard choice between all the safari lodges in Sabi Sand, but this article convinced me that MalaMala is just right for us. Best regards from D. Smith, NY.

    ReplyDelete