The second of a couple of essays on my South Africa trip. I spent five days in Hoedspruit....a town way up on th NE end of the country, just short of the Small Dragon Mountains.
It's a town of 3,500.....50 percent white....while the entire state around it is 95 percent black. It's worth nothing that the entire state is around 50 percent poverty class.
What Hoedsprit is known for is.....safari stuff. Just about everybody around has some connection to tourism. The airport? Eight flights a day with loads of tourists getting off. Probably a hundred folks rent cars and drive up. Then you got a dozen tour buses arriving daily.
Folks get all hyped up over lion, monkey, and Elephant trips.....out into private reserves...some measuring 5 by 10 miles. If you've never ridden in the back of rover jeep on a marginal road with 60 potholes per half-mile.....you don't know butt pain. I asked the guy about shocks, and he said it was rare that you did not replace the shocks every 8 weeks.
Cops? You just rarely saw them. Folks indicated that when you called them up, especially after dark....they were not likely to show up until sun-up.
The only dam locally? It's an odd thing....a private dam....designed to hold a huge amount of water for irrigation purposes. You sign up for service, and pay a fee. Tons of fruit and nuts....mostly all shipped out of South Africa.
After five days, I sat and previewed the threats. Lions, rhinos, snakes, elephants, hyenias, wild dogs, gangsters, rabies, TB, malaria and crocodiles? How did humans walk out of Africa 200,000 years ago? It's simply not possible.
My advice...if you really need this of adventure? Think long and hard about it. Maybe an overnight in Memphis will suffice.