What's going on? Part 1

Tuesday, 30 August 2011 12:24

A friend of mine back in Tanzania often used to say to me “What’s going on”, when he felt that life was getting out of his control. I found myself uttering these words every day for 6 weeks during the months of July & August. Now I’m not saying this in a negative way whatsoever, far from it in fact as this period was one of the most hectic, busy, but thoroughly enjoyable periods of our lives in Monzi so far. Our family, based in the USA and in Moscow finally made it to Macadamia Lodge to visit this place of wonder. Board meetings aside, our biggest challenge was ensuring that 4 little people under the age of 6 were entertained royally on a daily basis. Bearing in mind that July was the coldest month of the year, you can see why I was a little bit concerned.

July started off with the Monzi Club’s celebration of the Durban July horse races, where they held their own in house entertainment and Poitjiekos  cook off.  Poitjiekos , literally translated as “small pot of food” is a stew prepared outdoors in  a traditional round, cast iron three legged pot. This is a very slow cooking method, and the pleasure ( so Kevin says)  is sitting outside enjoying the outside air whilst the stew cooks slowly for up to 6 hours; and I couldn’t think of a better setting than Monzi and our guest cottage patios. We then went on a little road trip to the Battlefields, and stayed in Rorkes Drift. This trip was partly a work trip for our future developments of a Destination Management Company but felt more like a holiday. I cannot begin to explain how breathless I found the scenery, and how impressed I was by all the  museums.  Whilst the men retraced the steps of the Zulu Warriors, I kept wondering why it  is that more people don’t realise how amazing and beautiful the province of KZN is. This trip also got me thinking about incorporating packages that involve visits to the battlefields, so watch this space.

We came back to Macadamia Lodge under grey skies and pouring rain and little children here on their summer holiday wanting to play outside. Luckily the rains calmed down and our first stop was to join one of the Advantage Tours hippo and croc cruises, a must do when in St Lucia.  One thing that I can say about winter is that it is definitely  the season when there is never a shortage of  hippos basking on the banks as well as wonderful bird sightings, including the great African Fish Eagle. We visited the St Lucia crocodile centre where not only will you learn about crocodiles & alligators and even get to touch a few of the smaller ones, but also learn about the protected cycad plant, the abundance of different frog species in this area and of course about Isimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. The animal interaction theme  continued with a trip to  Chane natural cheese farm , where you get to milk a goat (great fun for children) and indulge in all the fabulous cheeses, and purchase some of their wonderful products.

Further afield we experienced a once in a lifetime outing at Bayete Zulu where you feed the elephants, touch their trunks, their tongues, their tusks or just stand back and admire their majestic beauty, whilst trying to ignore ( as per instructions) the baby elephant trying to interact with you by hoovering up your shirt sleeve or blowing hot air at you. We were also left in charge of the little people whilst the parents had a  mini romantic getaway in a nearby game reserve.  Only one thing for it, exhaust them (and yourself). The beaches in St Lucia are fabulous for making sand castles, burying your aunty in the sand and running away from the waves so as not to get too wet (remember this is winter) The grounds of Macadamia Lodge and Monzi Village are the perfect place to let the children go wild, play hide and seek with the monkeys & hadedas, practice fishing skills in the nearby dam with home made rods but most importantly, just enjoying the space.