Today we are visiting the Bushveld in South Africa with Nadia of Teach Me Mommy! Nadia is a teacher turned mommy to a 3.5yr old girl and 1yr old boy. She blogs about easy and playful activities that she enjoys doing with her kids. I love Nadia’s paint swatch valentines, toad stool table, and wooden spoon puppets! You can also find Nadia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Visiting Bushveld, South Africa
We live in Alberton, a suburb of Johannesburg (one of South Africa’s biggest cities). It is a town like any other, and now and again we need some peace and quiet, and that is when we escape to the Bushveld. The word ‘Bushveld’ means that it is a piece of land with trees, bushes and sand. My father bought a Bushveld farm when I was still a child, and we spent most of our holidays there. He sold the farm for various reasons, but luckily for us, our long-time family friends also have a farm in that area(Limpopo), and we can visit anytime.
It is a magical place for children, because there you live close to nature, experiencing wildlife and dirt! Yes, the kids get dirty here and the parents are not even worried. ;) They play in the sand, making mud and playing all kinds of games. One favourite game is to draw a road with a stick and write instructions on the sand, for example: jump 3 times before you continue, draw a face here, scream as loud as you can… Then the friends must see where the road leads to, such fun!
There are quad bike motorcycles and farm vehicles (open trucks with seats) which are used to drive in the veld (bush), to view the wild life. Here there are no dangerous animals like lions etc., although we found a leopard or two once, but they usually live near the Soutpansberg (mountain) nearby. And once a herd of elephants came through the farm, but they were on their way to the Kruger National Park, the large wildlife sanctuary in the area.
The wildlife here includes: giraffe, antelope like kudus, impala, blesbuck, zebras, wild hogs, jackals, baboons etc. There is hunting on the farm from time to time(with a license,of course). The main reason for this is to keep an ecological balance; because there are no predators on the farm, it is up to the humans to keep the system healthy, meaning, making sure that there are not too many animals compared to the feed there is on the piece of land.
Until a few years back, there was no electricity on the farm. We used sun power (a sun panel attached to a set of batteries) to have light; no tv/computer or other technology. For warm bathwater, a fire is made under a big drum (called a donkie), and the warm water leads to the bathroom. When it gets dark, we will sit around the campfire, playing games like “We’re going on a trip and I’m taking a towel, we’re going on a trip and I’m taking with a towel and an umbrella…”. Each person adds an item, and you have to remember all the items in order!
We usually “braai” (barbeque) meat for dinner, and sometimes we make bread in a pot on the open fire (called “potbrood”) or “mieliepap”, using maize flour with a savoury sauce as side dish. Keeping it simple, because the nearest shop is about 40 kilometres away!
It gets very hot in the summer time, around 35C- 40C (95F-113F). When I was a kid, we used to swim in the dam(the one where the animals drink the water), but now there is a swimming pool in which one can cool off.
The Bushveld is a big part of South Africa, and most tourists enjoy visiting the Kruger National Park to see the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino). I would definitely recommend it, as an awesome experience for young and old.
Thank you, Nadia, for this post! The Bushveld looks and sounds like a place my children would love to visit – along with Kruger National Park!
Interested in contributing to this series? I am looking for posts about any part of the world – share with us what you love best about the corner of this planet you inhabit – in a child-friendly way using your own words and photos. Email me at mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com for more information.