|My chalet at Panzi Bushcamp|
My room was the furthest distant one from the dining room, at my request, to be closest to the viewing deck and waterhole, and I was within breathing distance of any passing wildlife, which I knew might include the resident porcupine or bushbucks, or passing hyenas and baboons, to name a few, which gave an exciting tang to the whole experience. At night I would hear baboons and hyenas, and unknown things rustling around in the thornbushes. Exciting!
|The boardwalk to my chalet|
To my delight, the A-frame had a tiny deck on the front end with a couple of deck chairs in which I could sit for sketching. I would spend lots of time here writing and coloring my sketches.
|My sketching gear and bird book|
Here's my gear ~ my sketchbook, bag full of art gear (watercolor pencils and waterbrush, pencil sharpener, extra pens and all that other fun stuff we journalers like to play with) plus the pretty wooden bowl I had bought from a local artisan, in which I kept the interesting things I picked up along the trail, like seedpods, feathers, etc.
|My bushbuck sketch|
|An inquisitive bushbuck doe|
Notice the plant beside her in the sketch? This is the Mother-In-Law's tongue which is found as a houseplant in many American homes and offices. I was fascinated to find it poking up at random spots under thorn bushes in the South African soil, so I included one beside the little bushbuck. I'd never seen a Mother-in-law's Tongue plant outside a house or pot before. They say travel is broadening. If so, it widens one's mind in the oddest places. . .
|Glynn, Bev, John, and Margaret ~ plus Sally the dog and Kitty.|
Most guests don't stick around during the day and lodges don't generally provide lunch, so I had come prepared to feed myself midway through each day with energy bars. This had added quite a bit of weight to my luggage, but it was essential unless I wanted to lose some weight (not a bad idea, but being hungry makes me grumpy and not inclined to sketch or write in my journal).
|Breakfast at Panzi Bush Camp|
The elevated viewing deck provided a great view of the waterhole, particularly at dawn and dusk, and I spent a lot of time birdwatching and keeping an eye out for wildlife.
|A kudu stops by the waterhole|
|All that remains of an ostrich|
|Giraffe with ox-pecker|
We also found a zebra skeleton and skull, leftovers from another leopard kill. There are leopards at Panzi Bush Camp, but not lions, because the lions can't get through the fence.
The boardwalks at Panzi are occasionally wrecked or washed away in these floods, and roads to the camp sometimes wash out as well. But not in the winter, which is when I was there (August).
Uh-oh, I've run out of time. I will finish up my saga in the next blog. I've been working on the sketchbook tutorial (like these) for several weeks, which is why so much time had elapsed since the last blog entry. I'll try to get to the next/last one sooner!
BTW, I wrote a review about Panzi Bush Camp for TravelAdvisor here if you want to read my recommendations.