African experiences in the wildWritten by Dirk Wessels
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Leopards in dark
While living in Johannesburg I decided one Saturday morning that I needed to get away from city and headed off to Krugersdorp nature reserve. Arrived there and found campsite in middle of reserve surrounded by a fence on every side. At reception I asked if I can set up my tent somewhere for night and I guess I should have noticed that receptionist was surprised about me wanting to sleep in a tent, but she didn’t say much about it. Drove around camp and, though there were quite a few caravans and people around, I was surprised to find what I thought was spot with best view unoccupied. So, I set up my tent and went for a drive around reserve. An ostrich attacked side mirror of my car and I saw a couple of rhinos, but for rest nothing too scary. When I got back to camp I found a whole crowd of people standing around fence in front of my tent, so I asked one of them what was going on. As soon as he found out it was my tent, he piped out “Hey, here’s guy sleeping in tent!!”. A couple of guys came up to shake my hand, showed me leopards not too far away that everyone was looking at and also mentioned that I must have a serious set of brass hanging to be sleeping in a tent right in front of only “spot” where fence had been broken down. Well, pride got in way and I decided not to pack up my tent and go home. But, I did decide that now was a good time for a couple of beers. That night I couldn’t sleep and I was convinced that every sound I heard was a leopard sniffing around my tent, but I’m brave and stupid and everything was fine until I heard a really loud shuffling in trees close to my tent. I lay dead still for a moment and quietly grabbed my keys in one hand. Heard shuffling a second time and my brass simply wasn’t big enough. I jumped up, completely destroyed my tent in trying open zip and ran out shouting at top of my voice into bush. I’m sure I could scare away any leopard, rhino or ghost lurking around, but only long enough to open my car and jump in. As uncomfortable as it was for a somewhat large, 6”2 male to sleep in front seat of my Opel Record, there was no way I was returning to tent. Anyway, next morning at swimming pool I heard a guy asking his buddies whether they heard that scream during night, but err, I just packed up my tent and disappeared quietly.
Having written these two stories, they now don’t seem all that interesting in print as it’s hard for reality to compete with Hollywood. However, I am just an ordinary city-dweller that happens to love outdoors without knowing too much about animals and wild. A blou wildebeest may not seem scary until you’re standing a couple of meters from it with nobody else around and you realize exactly how big those things really are.
About the Author
Dirk Wessels is a keen traveller and outdoor enthusiast and is also the web designer for Oyster Bay Lodge. You may freely use this article on condition that you keep an active link to African holiday desitination
Arizona In All Its Colorful GloryWritten by Alicia Bankford
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swimmers and boaters will enjoy Canyon Lake with its cool clear water and steep canyon walls. Camping and picnicking is ideal here also.
Roosevelt Dam was originally built between 1905 and 1911 and restricts water of Salt River forming Roosevelt Lake. This dam was considered world's largest "cyclopean-masonry" dam, which means it was created in Greco-Roman style, using very large, irregularly shaped blocks. It is covered by concrete today.
There are other stops along trail, such as Tortilla Flat, another old-west style settlement and Apache Lake formed by Horse Mesa Dam. And we must not forget Tonto National Monument. This 2 story ruin, known as Sinaqua Indian Cliff looks down on Lake Roosevelt and is a delight to view.
One of better known places to visit is Sedona. Beyond beauty of this land, you are apt to feel beauty of people. This city is known for its artistry as many artisans have moved their home here. Many of Native Americans believe Sedona area is a spiritual one as they believe there is a vortex of energy coming from earth's electromagnetic fields.
Whether you believe there is anything to this belief of a heart being affected by this magnetic field or not, this enchanted area is sure to feed your soul with its atmosphere. whatever time of year, Arizona has something for everyone to enjoy.
Alicia Bankford is excited about Arizona and is the owner of Everything About Arizona