Finally I’m off the plane!
After almost a day of traveling, hours of waiting, too many movies and a lack of sleep, I am back on solid ground. Our guide Elmar picks us up and the trip goes on by car. Everything is green, it’s warm. Spring in the end of November. For the first time I crossed the equator.
For lunch we are going to the Sea Belle, a restaurant right by the beach. The sun is shining, everything seems like in a dream. I can hear the sound of the waves and before we are leaving, I just have to put my feet into the water. I’m on the other side of the world.
I’m in South Africa!
We are driving along the coastline, then further into the country and my memory is fading. I keep falling asleep on the back seat. The long trip is taking it’s toll. After we stopped, everything is different. The noise of the last 24 hours has disappeared and I can hear my thoughts again.
Tonight we will stay at the Ecabazini Zulu Cultural Village near the Albert Falls Dam. I am getting my own hut in the traditional style of the Zulu. That means “back to the roots”. There are no windows and no electricity. The small room is illuminated by 2 oil lamps, but is equipped with a tourist-friendly bed (which I will be very thankful for this night when a centipede is going to take a walk through my room).
After a hot coffee, David – the owner of this place – explains the meanings of the different buildings. Hut of the patriarch, hut of the first wife, second wife etc. Of course the food is cooked on the open fire. In the middle of the property there is an enclosure for the cattle, which is a very important part of the Zulu culture and essential for the survival of the family. That’s why they do not live outside of the village. However this night they disappeared all of a sudden, because in the past they started to chew on the hut of some visitors and scared the heck out of them.
For dinner there is grilled beef with bread and salt, later we are given different sorts of vegetables. After we enjoyed our meal, the Zulu people are sharing their culture with us by showing dances, singing and playing the drums. We end this eventful day sitting by the fire with a glass of wine. It get’s dark early here and life is adjusted to the sun. That means people go to bed early and get up at sunrise.
A night in the Zulu hut
I can barely keep my eyes open so I disappear pretty quick. Oh by the way, not far behind the huts in a separate little building there are real toilets and showers. A luxury in the middle of nowhere. Yet the big fat spider in my bathroom and I won’t become friends!
I’m leaving the door to my hut open and to my surprise there are hardly any bugs. I’m listening to the sounds of nature for a little while. The chirping of crickets, the singing of birds, sounds of the night – balm for the soul. Exhausted I fall asleep.
Before my alarm goes off, I’m awake and crawl into the open by sunrise. The coffee water is boiling on the fire already and I’m enjoying the fresh morning. Even if I’m happy not to be isolated from the outside world, through the sim-card I bought for my phone the day before, for a moment I think electricity is overrated and I’m happy to just “be”.
However I’m glad I can take a hot shower now. The spider moved out and after a relaxed breakfast and a walk by the lake we are off to the next adventure. Zip-Lining through the rain forest. I’m excited!
What was the most unusual place you ever spent the night?
Leave me a comment! I’m curious!