It was bound to happen at some point I’m sure. I had crossed the river successfully many times before without issue. Nevertheless two days ago, on our game drive, we attempted to cross the second crossing of the slightly soggy river down in Mansiya Loop. The recent rains, as mentioned in our previous post have been a blessing but on this occasion it was to take us hostage on the wet sand.
Fortunately, I had the most easy-going and lively group of guests. I would like to say a very big thank you to Mark, Michaela, Ben and Thandeka for their enthusiastic help and their unwavering sense of humor.
As you can see we were quite properly stuck. We did not let this deter us from having fun though, so after calling for help (luckily the cell phone signal was sufficient) we proceeded to see what tracks were left in the river bed- lion and baboon being the best finds. A troop of baboons was slowly moving through the area and we could hear the males shouting through the forest. We then retreated to shade of an Acacia tree just on the bank of the river where, thanks to Michaela, we enjoyed Danish licorice and other snacks.
After an hour and one unsuccessful attempt, by a game viewing vehicle driven by Anna from Rhino Ridge Lodge, to pull us out we glimpsed the tractor far up on the hill slowly descending. Another 30 minutes later and we were hauled safely back onto the river bank.
We would like to say thank you to Anna from Rhino Ridge Lodge, Ezemvelo KZN Wlidlife, for sending a tractor, and the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Assistance Office for all their help.
Lesson learned- always get out and walk the crossing first before you drive through.