Monday, May 10, 2010

Birthday in the Bush

We celebrated Jasmine & Juliet's 8th Birthday this weekend with a camping trip and safari in the Bush at Zenzele River Lodge in Limpopo. A real experience going with 11 girls, all 8 year olds and me and Dirk. Quite the adventure!! And this while it was Mother's day weekend and I should have been relaxing and getting pampered!

"Go to sleep in the African bush, wake up to the call of the Fish Eagle. Exchange stories around a boma fire, watch the western horizon ablaze with an amazing sun set. You will experience a stirring in your soul as you become one with the elements." This is exactly what we did!

We gathered at our house and with 2 cars we drove the 2 hours to our bush location. A backpackers camping ground where we had to go back to basics. We arrived around lunch time so after settling in and each girl chosen their bunk beds we had lunch. I brought some noodle soups which the girls loved!

from L-R: JJ ~ Jeongwoo ~ Jezz ~ Zahra ~ Emma ~ Elle

Then we explored the grounds a bit, played around, hung up the Bday decoration and lanterns so it looked quite festive there in the bush! Then our rangers arrived to take us on a open Jeep Safari.

Top L-R: Chenika ~ Elle ~ Jezz ~ Iris
Bottom L-R: Ines ~ Amelie ~ Emma ~ Zahra ~ Sofie ~ Jeongwoo ~ JJ

We saw quite some animals, although this game reserve has no predators, which we were happy about, since we could just walk around freely! However, we saw 3 giraffes, lots of zebras and blesbucks, wildebeests, birds, kudu and tons of insects and butterflies ;-) We made a stop to drink a sundowner and made use of the bush toilet and off we went to go back to our camp. Since we had lots to do!

Our ranger Jan, made a huge campfire in the boma where we had to prepare our African dinner; which was boerewors, chicken, potatoes, corn and veggies all made on the grill. After dinner we roasted our own marshmallows and then it was time for the Bday cake. This was a beauty, a safari themed cake, just gorgeous made by our friends at TART in Leaping Frog. Sharlene makes the most beautiful cakes and cupcakes, so we are a regular customer!

But the girls were most excited about going to bed and sleep in those wonderful bunkbeds all snug together. So they hurried to get their PJ's on and starting to giggle and tell stories while me and Dirk were sitting in the boma listening to their squeals of laughter and in the background the sounds of the bush and jackals. It was a great night with a clear starry sky. By the time it was 11pm these girls were still up and talking so much, but we decided to go and sleep as well, and as soon as we opened the door they pretended to be asleep. Suited us well enough :-)
By 6 am the hen house was buzzing again, time for our African breakfast, mielie porridge, rusks, apples and biscuits. Well, the porridge was not the best success... these girls wanted cereal and scrambled eggs, but that we don't do in the bush while camping! LOL

After breakfast we headed out for our walking safari, where we could explore animal foot prints, birds, insects, plant and trees. Jan our ranger told us he knew a short route and off we went. 2 hours!! later we were back at the campground, exhausted... this was a short route for HIM, not for us! Luckily we had saved some juices, water and apples before we headed home.

Wow, this was a real African camping experience in the Bush and I hope that all the girls had a great experience and friendships are made for life!

Mom and Dad were in bed by 8:15 pm that night, exhausted but happy that everybody had such a blast!
This was a complete different Mother's Day for me, for once I wasn't the focus of the attention on Mother's day, but one I will never forget!

I hope you guys all had a great Mother's Day weekend!


rosemary said...

This is such a crazy FUN birthday party!! I am in love with it! What a great idea you had for your girls.

April said...

SO FUN!!! What a great birthday experience for all of the girls! You scored big mom points for sure!

Anonymous said...

Habit is a second nature...................................................

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Maci Miller said...

Wow, this is fantastic! What an incredible experience for all of them and looks like tons of fun!! You are a super mom! And Dirk gets kudos for going away with so many girls! :-)

Leah and Maya said...

i tell you your girls have one awesome life!!!!! looks amazing.

Mireille said...

I think so to Leah, but I am not sure if JJ and Jezz realize that! Maybe later....


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