Fossils and flames
This weekend I went to Limpopo. I have been looking forward to it for a while because I went there a while ago and it was really fun. The car on the way to Limpopo was quite crowded because we gave a lift to two friends called Betty and Rapholo Ramodisa who wanted to go Limpopo too.
We dropped the Ramodisas at the taxi rank in Polokwane because they were going on to Sekhukhune land and then we went to the Ranch Hotel which is just outside the city. When we checked in we were taken in a golf cart to the room and I said “ahhh! This is paradise.”
We were staying in a place that was not the main hotel but was like little houses at the golf course. Our room wasn’t just one room but instead it was three rooms. I had my own bedroom with a bathroom all to myself and there was a kitchen and then my parents had another room with their own bathroom too.
When we first arrived the WiFi wasn’t working so my dad and I went off to see what we could see. We found sports fields and there was a professional soccer team, the Black Leopards, training on it. They were doing a large practice session and had lots more people on the pitch than usual.
We watched for a while but then it was time for my parents to go off to a posh party. The plan was that I would stay in the room and use the WiFi but it still wasn’t working in the room so I came with my parents to the main hotel. My mum and dad went to a fancy party in the posh restaurant in the hotel which is called Basil’s. I sat at the casual restaurant and used the WiFi there. I had a delicious Ranch burger and great chips and a Coke. My parents took a long time so later I ordered a malva pudding too. All the while I watched videos of the new 10th season on Fortnite Battle Royale which looks amazing. Eventually my parents came out of the posh party and we went back to the room. We found that the WiFi was working so I watched some more Fortnite videos. That was the end of the first day.
On day two me and my dad went to Makapansgat which is a World Heritage Site. It has fossil finds from very early hominids called Australopithecus africanus who lived about 3 million years ago. It is also the place where there was a fight between the Kekana Ndebele people and the Voortrekkers in the 19th century. The Kekana hid in the caves and the Voortrekkers cut off their food and water for more than a month. A thousand people died.
We got shown around by a tour guide called Peter Molomo.
He showed us all sorts of things such as plants, fossils, caves and dassies (which are big rabbit like rodents) and an owl. He explained the history behind the caves and we were allowed to go inside. He showed us animal fossils, plants and when we got to the cave he told us their stories.
It is a World Heritage Site like Maropeng but at Maropeng there are lots of people and a visitors centre and a café and toilets and that sort of stuff. At Makapansgat there wasn’t anyone else there because it is quite hard to find. I kind of liked how empty it was because you get it all to yourself, unlike Maropeng. But it was a bit sad that Peter Molomo knows so much and has so few people to tell. He was a great guide. The dassies were listening to all the stories that Mr Molumo told.
The dassies seemed to intrigued but when we went towards them to go to the next area in our tour they all ran for their lives!
After we came back from the cave, I joined my parents for dinner at the fancy restaurant called Basil’s. I started with minestrone soup and then we three shared the Chateaubriand beef which was flamed at the table and cooked to perfection.
The sauce was made in the flaming pan and was delicious. For dessert we had crepes Suzette which was also flamed at the table with a really nice orange sauce and ice cream. I thought that the table side service was great and everyone was very nice.
On day three me and my dad went on another boy adventure. We don’t take my mum on this sort of adventure because when we do she says that she wants to come but then she complains and gets cross. This time we went to Eersteiling gold mine. It was where they first found gold in the region that used to be called the Transvaal in the 1870 and now it is closed. We explored around the area and found someone who said it was reopening. We kept on exploring and we saw the stone boiler chimney.
To get there we had to go through a field of tall grass that attacked us at every turn. We went back to the car and removed thousands of blackjack thorns sticking to our trousers and then went back to the hotel.
While we were driving back to The Ranch, we stopped at a petrol station and bought chips and bread and a tin of chakalaka and a bottle of Stoney ginger beer. We had chip sandwiches for lunch looking out over the golf course.
After lunch I went to the trampolines and showed off my skills.
Then we went to supper and I was treated to 10 amazing prawns by my parents and I really liked them because they tasted like the sea (as you would expect!) They came with a lemon butter sauce and I am a lemon fiend so it was the perfect end to the day. The next morning, we had to get up and go home which was very sad.
I would recommend The Ranch to anyone who isn’t stupid and all those who like to see their dinner set on fire. I would recommend Makapansgat to those willing to venture into the land of the dassies.
Polokwane Ranch Resort; 25 km south of Polokwane on the N1, R101, Farm Hollands Drift
Polokwane, Limpopo. Phone:015 290 5000
Makapansgat tour guide: Peter Molomo 072 896 7880