Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The family in Africa #3

Mumma (that's me) and Zeke

Uncle Timmy (my son, also visiting) reading to Zeke and Willow after school

3 year old, Miss Willow, following her swim

7 year old, Master Zeke, in the hat Mumma brought him for his birthday

With the Soccer World Cup about to be held in South Africa, there are promotions going on everywhere. Sam with Zeke and Willow and the tournament mascot

Daughter, Nikki, and son-in-law, Sam - gorgeous parents of my 2 oldest grandchildren

A month in Africa #2

If you have seen the previous posts, you will have seen photos of the wedding in the African bush and read a little about it. It was a most 'splendiforous' experience. As the co-celebrant, it was an honour to play such a significant role on this special day for Nici and Mat.

As a guest at the pre- and post-wedding events and, of course, at the wedding celebrations, it was like being in a fairy tale. The African bush, the wide blue African sky, the African animals and birds and people, the happy couple, the supportive and delighted families, the enthusiastic guests (there were a lot of Australians and you know they can party!), the perfect weather, the delicious and copious food, the surprise game drive on the evening before the wedding - it was an experience of a lifetime.

The bride is the daughter of my special friend, Wilna Wilkinson, who:
  • lives at Chateau Lalinde in the south of France, where she provides accommodation for visitors from all over the world. Go to her website at
  • did the most amazing pilgrimage of 800 kilometres in February 2008, when she walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage - Way of St. James. Go to the website
  • has written a blog about the whole experience. Go to her blog at
  • dedicated her pilgrimage to her friend (that's me!)
  • wrote a book about the experience which has been published by Jacana in South Africa. It is called "The Way of Stars and Stones - Thoughts on a Pilgrimage". She has also dedicated the book to me and has donated all proceeds from the sale to cancer research in Australia.
I said she was a special friend. :)

Anyway, she is the mother-of-the-bride of the African Bush Wedding! I have copies of the book if you would like to read it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Images of a magical wedding in Africa

Images of a magical wedding in Africa-preparations

1. Decorations in the trees by the tables
2. African confetti
3,5 Preparing the ceremony site by the waterhole
4 Bridal bouquet

Images of Africa #1

Photos 1-3 were taken on the game drive before the pre-wedding dinner.

Photos 4-7 were taken at Giraffe Camp - rhino reflection at the camp waterhole at sunset and a warthog family behind the fence

8. The Drakensberg mountain range

A month in Africa

I have been in South Africa for a month. The first port of call on this amazing journey was to stay in the home of Ingrid and Les, in Pretoria. Their niece, Nici, was being married at Giraffe Camp in Limpopo and I would drive there with them to officiate at the ceremony in conjunction with Father Chiko (a Portuguese Catholic missionary), attend the celebration and all the associated pre- and post-wedding festivities.

These are two of the ten tortoises who live in Ingrid and Les' garden!

Ingrid and Les had been incredibly involved with the preparation for the wedding and their house was filled to the rafters with the most amazing collection of 'things' that needed to be taken to the venue - cake and knife for cutting, flowers for bride's bouquet and decoration, food, drink, decorations made by bride's mother, ice and ice bucket, champagne, rug for the couple to kneel on, flares for the garden, candles, innovative candle holders made from plastic soft drink bottles to 'plant' in the ground...................... the list goes on. We traveled in two vehicles + trailer as 3 adults, their luggage and all the wedding stuff would not fit into one car.

The drive took us almost 6 hours, traveling north east from Pretoria, through beautiful rural countryside and, in the afternoon, beside the Drakensberg mountain range. We stopped for lunch in Dullstrom, a small holiday town where fly fishing is the main holiday activity.

In the late afternoon, after traveling comfortably in convoy all day, we arrived at our destination - Giraffe Camp, close to Kruger National Park - a small, private game reserve that has 8 one bedroom cabins and a central cooking and dining building. It is a self-catering camp, so everything that was needed for a four day stay for 2 people in each cabin (16), a pre-wedding dinner for 25, a wedding reception for 60, a post-wedding brunch for 30, had to be brought in and prepared and served by those in situ. The camp provides outdoor staff and some kitchen help.

For some reason this blog won't let me load pics right now so - the following pics (which are actually above this post) are a snapshot of the camp and the people and the animals.