Mount Currie Nature Reserve-Where Even the Zebras Are Friendly
A good place to be
A trip to Kwa-Zulu Natal for Audrey’s Moms 90th Birthday gave us an opportunity to camp at one of our favorite camp grounds. Situated in the Mount Currie Nature Reserve.nestled at the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg Mountain Range and overlooking the Crystal Dam, fed by the Crystal Springs; it is a beautiful place.
A group of seven Zebra visit the campground to inspect new arrivals. They seem to have a strong opinion on the variety of tents that campers are putting up. The dam is busy with a number of water birds either swimming (Darters) or flying over (Pied Kingfisher) in search of food. The occasional Bass breaks the surface of the water and colorful Grey Crowned Crane feed in the nearby reed beds. The very rare Striped Flufftail is more often heard than seen in those same reeds. With some luck you may also see a Lammergeier (Booted Eagle) patrolling the skies, while the resident African Fish Eagle controls the dam.
As the sun begins to set in the West, the surface of the Dam is lit up with a golden glow and nearby a Red -knobbed Coot dives under the surface looking for a late evening snack. On the water a pair of the same birds have completed their nest building for the day.
A flock of Reed Cormorants arrive to roost in the Weeping Willow Trees while the noisy Hadeda Ibis also announce their arrival with their raucous calls after a hard day spent digging for worms with their long beaks.
As the air temperature cools, a mist settles over the dam adding to the beauty of the evening. Nearby a couple from Holland have a fire going in their cooking area and the Zebras come to say goodnight .A walk around the campground after supper presents us with a bright starlit sky. It is a good place to be as we prepare to climb into out tent and slip into our sleeping bags.
The area around Kokstad in the Northern Eastern Cape, or Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal, is indeed a great place to not only stay over on a trip between these two South African Provinces but also a good place to just spend some time. The road to the North west will take you into the Kingdom of Lesotho, a small country perched in the Drakensberg mountains and well worth a visit. South Africa has many great areas to visit if a person can get beyond the magic of Cape Town and the beauty of the great National Parks like Kruger or Kalagadi. All it needs is a sense of adventure and some time to explore the magic of the country on the Southern tip of Africa. ..