Mid Kent College – Day 10

After a nice hot day at Kosi Bay yesterday, we woke up to a lovely rainy morning!
We had a quick breakfast, then filed  into the van for the trip back to the lodge. Almost as soon as we returned we all jumped back in and drove into the bush to dig some pit traps. It was pouring down by this point, so we all had a refreshing shower!
We dug holes slightly deeper than the bucket (man’s work, grrrr!) and buried it in soil, making sure we got our hands and faces covered in it of course.
While we were digging the holes we did find some cool things though, we found not one, not two, but 3 terrapins – and a crab.
After all that hard work we re-fueled with hot dogs and chips, then went to the reptile centre. We saw a whole host of snakes at the centre, and met a keeper who had been bitten by a forest cobra. According to him it wasn’t too fun, but you’re welcome to form your own opinions on that…
We were also lucky enough to witness crocodile feeding time; crocodiles and alligators make an awesome rumbling noise when they feed. The centre housed 35 baby nile crocodiles, one of which we held.
It was so tiny it could fit in one hand, it’s amazing they will all grow to such a large size!
After seeing the crocodiles, we moved next door for a Zulu dance show.   We were shown the traditional dance performed by Zulu warriors. The dance began with the women singing, whilst carrying out stepping movements and waving things. As the men came into the dance, running in a circle, the women began beating on drums laid out in a line.
The men began an extremely impressive routine; the main male would shout war cries at the rest of the men crouching in a line, who would reply. He would then start stamping at the floor, kicking his legs and beating his feet with his hands, closely followed by the other men. Although I was extremely impressed by how high they could all kick their legs, I can see how the routine would make opposing warriors uneasy.
Unfortunately we had to leave the dancing early to get to the cat rehabilitation centre in time. For me, this was the best part of the day. We viewed the feeding of African wild cats, caracal, serval and cheetah. Caracals will jump up to three metres for a piece of meat, which is aided by their powerful back legs.
During feeding we were able to stroke the serval and cheetahs that were more tolerant of human contact, which was really cool!
The black spots on the cheetahs feel much softer than the rest of their fur and when they get cold the black hair is slightly raised, like goosebumps!!
We were also able to stroke serval babies; so fluffy and cute I could die! (–I hope you got the Despicable Me reference–).
After getting lots of pictures with our new cheetah pals we returned to the camp and had warthog stew with pap (maize meal) for dinner. Maize is the staple food for Zulu people during the winter, as when their corn dries out it is ground to maize.
It was an unforgettable day, and it’s safe to say we are all going to sleep very well tonight.

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