|Monday 1st October - Mozambique - Maputo to South Africa - Kruger
Last Friday one of Andrews fillings fell out, so today we visited a dentist in Maputo. Andrew emerged from the surgery relaxed and happy. The dentist was an attractive woman who clutched him to her bosom while drilling his tooth. Much better than anaesthetic apparently. Andrews considering six monthly dental checks in Maputo from now on.
We visited the Toyota dealership to see if we could get replacement wing mirrors, but they didnt have the required parts in stock, so well hopefully get them in South Africa instead.
The drive from Maputo to the border at Ressano Garcia only took about an hour. We stopped in the first South African town, Koomatipoort, for a coffee and to pick up some remaining groceries before going into Kruger. Koomatipoort is just a small South African town, but it feels so much more developed than anywhere in Mozambique (which in turn felt so much more developed than anywhere in Malawi, which felt so much more developed than anywhere in Sudan, which felt so much more developed than anywhere in Ethiopia.).
Before coming into South Africa we had heard that it often felt like Europe, although we were warned not to fall into thinking that it is Europe. I feel a bit apprehensive about being in South Africa actually, because we have been warned so much about the crime here. All the South Africans weve met have warned us to be very careful. When weve discussed our route with South Africans they have glanced at each other for reassurance and then said things like Yes, that should be OK, just dont stop to ask for directions or Well, dont go to Durban you WILL get robbed if you go there or Youre not planning to go to Johannesburg are you? or I wouldnt go there if I were you, its just not as safe as it used to be..
If we thought Koomatipoort would give us a mild case of reverse-culture-shock, we were agog when we saw Kruger. Our experience of national parks in Kenya and Tanzania had taught us to stock up before entering them, so before going into Kruger we made sure we had enough food and water to last us for 2 days. We then went into Lower Sabie campsite in the park and found a supermarket selling almost everything, including a wide range of beautiful souvenirs. At Lower Sabie there is also a swimming pool, laundry, restaurant and a cafe where you can sit with a cappuccino and watch hippos being just as lazy as you are. The toilet block here has plentiful hot water which can be enjoyed as you choose - in bath or shower. The campsite in the Masai Mara didnt even have a long-drop toilet!
On the way into the campsite we saw elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebra and antelopes not bad for a drive of just a couple of hours. Tomorrow well see what else we can find.