During our safari excursion in Pilanesberg we saw lions, monkeys, hippos, rhinos, impalas, springbok, leopards (or rather the ear twitch of), wildebeests, wart hogs, elephants, giraffes and zebras. And not in that particular order. When I look back at the photos of those two safari drives, what strikes me is the utter joy in our countenances. The landscape was overwhelmingly beautiful and lush, the wild animal sightings were plentiful and varied and the weather was pleasant. We were lucky and grateful. We were also cognizant of the fact that these safari drives were not readily available or attainable to many South African nationals.
Ironically, we stayed at Kedar Heritage Lodge, a place that reveled in its’ colonial past and war regalia. Walking into the lodge was like stepping back into time. The restaurant had views of a mural that depicted 1800’s war scenes between the Brits and Boers. The land the hotel is situated on once belonged to President Paul Kruger. It was precisely this reminder of the colonial era coupled with our sense that black Africans could not easily afford to see these wild animals that was unsettling. Dr. Jez cautioned us about the challenge of a single story. For better or worse, colonial wars between Brits and Boers and African tribes are woven into the tapestry of South African history.