Every guest house we’ve gone to in Africa has had some kind of animal, whether it’s just a plain cat or dog, or even a goat. I’ll start with our first guest house, North South Backpackers. This is where we encountered our first animal, a cat. The little kids called this cat the “devil cat”, when they saw that he had eaten a bird, but as they soon learned, almost every cat and dog they’ve encountered has killed a bird. This cat really disliked them after 3 days of being chased around by 2 small children, and then another 2 days of being chased around by three children ( the third child being Oliver, the young boy I mentioned in, North South, Anywhere You Go, There Will be Coins. And I am sorry that there are no pictures of my coins in that post).
The second guest house was one in a Swaziland game reserve. Here we found an animal the kids didn’t really enjoy playing with, because he was twice their size. Now you’re probably wondering what kind of animal is twice their size that’s not a bear. Well you might have guessed it, it’s an…OSTRICH!!! If you got it right, congratulations, you win just as much as the people who got it wrong. OK on with the post..this ostrich was trained but it was still pretty creepy to walk in front of an animal twice your size. So they tried to ignore this animal as much a possible. Onto the next guest house!
Our next guest house was in Hluhluwe, Kwazulu-Natal. We only had one day here so there was no bonding between the kids and the small dogs that lived there. And plus these little dogs looked pure evil, so the kids would just run away from them. I guess you could count the little bush baby as a pet. They fed him every night so everyone could get pictures of the little guy. Next night was not a guest house, so it had no animals. Then up to another non guest house–a campground–but it did have some animals. MONKEYS! 50 CRAZY MONKEYS! They were all gathered ’round the tents eating the food out of the trash can. Luckily they weren’t baboons, ’cause baboons are vicious. These were much smaller. After 30 minutes of digging through trash cans, one got a full ear of corn. Of course the bigger one wanted it, so there was a huge fight and all of them ran away except one. He was in the trash can, and when he realized that all of them left, he ran away too.
Then to Botswana where we had a golden retriever circling our tent looking for food. We had already gone to sleep so the little kids didn’t get to play with him. Zambia, home of the Jollyboys Backpackers. was one of my favorites–free pool table (very hard to find in Africa), pool, restaurant, lots of sitting room, and of course, some animals! Here they had two cats, Ginger and Pepper (we’re guessing on Pepper’s name. We knew Ginger’s name because that’s what everyone called it. But nobody said the black cat’s name, so since it was black, we called it Pepper). Kieran and Asher were SO scared of these cats, mostly because Kieran was teasing them and hissing at them so they hissed back and chased him. That made Kieran run away screaming and hide behind dad. That’s what started his fear, and when Ginger would go in the tents when they were in them, that only increased their fear. After that we drove to the campground where the “Terror on the Caprivi Strip” occurred.
As the Caprivi Strip post said, there were lots of dogs. Our first encounter with one of their dogs is when we almost ran one of him over. It was a small dog name Mickey. He was my favorite because he would come in the pool with me. There were I think five dogs The huge scary one, a medium one who came to our camp looking for food, a white shaggy one, and Mickey and Rocket who are the same size and were our favorite. Now to Etosha National Park. There were some jackals where we camped, but you can’t really play with those. Then we left Etosha and tried to get to Swakopmund but dang Vito denied us of that, so we had to stop early at a very nasty place with an evil dog.
After the evil dog, we made it to the little kids’ favorite, Desert Sky Backpackers in Swakopmund. This was home to one of the little kids favorite animals, Vorschie!!!!!!! A funny little wiener dog. The little kids were petrified at first because he chased them around and tried to lick them. Kieran refused to get off the picnic table until somebody took him away. He did this the first few days but he found out how to make Vorschie chase him he was fine. He loved to tear apart the long stringy things off the tree in the camping area, so we would always throw him some to tear apart. He was good at fetching sticks and things, but he would break the sticks and not bring them back. And when it was time for sleeping he would try to get in the tent. Whenever we forgot to zip up the tent, he would hop in and try to sleep on the blow up mattresses. At first when he did this, Kieran was still scared of him and screamed until dad got him out. When we zipped up the tents, he would sit and whine outside. I pitied him, but if I let him in he would pop the mattress. We all loved Vorschie so much that when we left for Sossuvlei, the little kids tried to stash him in the car.
We were all happy to see him when we got back, even though we knew that it would be our last day with him. We played with him till it was dark, and once again he tried to get in the tents. We were all sad to leave him there whining at the car door. Little did we know about the next animal awaiting us–a big, fat, hairy, and ugly warthog! Or Jon Bonfield’s brother, either one. This one we had only a few minutes with since he was nowhere to be found when we got there. And just outside the camp there were the animals I wanted to see most in Africa, but hadn’t seen until then, CHEETAHS!!! Right outside the camp 4 meter high chain link fence. They were amazing! After we got some nice shots, we decided to start the long and grueling drive to Cape Town. Out of Namibia, and Into South Africa.
Luckily we made it all the way to where we are now, Salty Crax Backpackers. This has the widest variety of animals of any of the places we’ve stayed: it’s got 2 dogs, the daughter, Litchi, and the mom, Mango; 1 very shy cat named Oreo; a funny goat named Cheese who poops everywhere, and a duck that looks like the Aflac duck. Kieran, Asher and I love to play with these animals. The cat is the shyest; he runs away during the day. Mango is the next shyest, then Cheese, and then Litchi. Mango was my favorite at first, but then she got real shy and started to run away from me, so Litchi bumped up to my favorite. The littles both love to play with Cheese. They follow him everywhere. But Cheese is a trouble maker. He ate my mom’s peanut brittle and tried to break open a bag in our tent. We heard from the employees that Cheese actually got into some guy’s tent and ate this guy’s stash. (Editor’s note: No “stashes” have been witnessed by any members of sixintheworld, however, we have heard about their existence.)
We’re going to miss these animals. The little kids are playing with Cheese as we speak. They’re going to really miss him. I’m going to definitely miss Litchi and Mango, their beautiful little faces and soft furry backs. I really miss Vorschie too. Kieran wants to fly out to Namibia next year just to see him. I wonder what animals we will encounter later on in this trip. I really don’t want to go. Oh well, I’m going to go get as much time as I can in with Mango and Litchi. Goodbye readers.