Home Invasion :)

We were invaded by a thief, but not the kind we expected… It was a huge baboon!

drakensburg baboon

Here is what happened.  Last weekend the girls had yet another school break, so we went to the Drakensburg Mountains for some hiking and bonding time.  We spent two nights at Tendele Camp, and two at Didima Camp in Cathedral Peak.

Both places warn you not to feed the baboons, and claim that the animals can open doors and windows.  Sound far fetched?  Well, Brian had walked to the camp store to buy some firewood and left the front door closed but unlocked.  While he was gone one of the girls started screaming that a big baboon was heading for the front door.  I casually walked over to it and sure enough, he was a few feet away from the door.  I locked it and yelled for him to “get away.”  He did, and ran across the front of the house.  The girls quickly went to check all the balcony doors and I went into the living room/kitchen to look out and see where he went.  I heard a noise and turned around to see a huge baboon in the kitchen, less than 10 feet away!  I think I screamed, which caused him to grab the loaf of bread off the table knocking to the floor several glasses, and run toward our bedroom! 

drakensburg mess

Meanwhile the girls had come into the room from the other side, saw the baboon, screamed, and ran to lock themselves inside their bathroom!  Once the chaos settled and I was sure all three girls were together hysterically screaming in the bathroom, the cleaning lady and I checked out the bedroom.  Can you believe the baboon had opened a locked window to enter and exit our lodge?!  This lady said they pry the windows open by wedging their fingers into the crack and sliding the lock.  Yikes.  As you can imagine this tale has been told with great enthusiasm many times since returning to town!

The baboon was toward the end of our trip, so thankfully we also saw some amazing sights…


drakensburg great view

drakensburg mtns

Our cottage in Thendele Camp... Amazing views from each direction

Our cottage in Thendele Camp... Amazing views of the "amphitheater"

The girls enjoying the view from the back patio

The girls enjoying the view from the back patio

We attempted the hike to Tugela Falls, the second tallest waterfall in the world, but the 5-6 hour roundtrip hike turned into an 8 hour event with no waterfall.  To add insult to injury, walking back we got caught in a rain and thunderstorm!  In addition to making us wet and cold, it also made the path slippery and Brian fell while carrying Ruthie on his shoulders.  She was fine, but he pulled his calf muscle so he had trouble walking the remaining 5k.  I had to carry Ruthie and Rachel had to carry the backpack.  Quite an outing!  However, we saw some beautiful scenery, bonded together as a family through difficult circumstances, and had a great time later drinking hot chocolate by the fire.  Who could get too upset with this scenery?

Early on in the hike...

Early on in the hike...Look at that clear blue sky...

Found some awesome rock pools, but no waterfall

Found some awesome rock pools, but no waterfall!

The trail was definitely more technical than advertised..."it is definitely appropriate for a 4 year old..."

The trail was a bit more technical than advertised..."it is definitely appropriate for a 4 year old..."

Where did those clouds come from?!

Where did those clouds come from?!

 drakensburg rainbow

8 hours later we were glad to get back!

8 hours later we were glad to get back!

We relaxed the rest of the trip, had perfect weather, and had a great time (except for the little baboon incident!).

Our "cottage" at Cathedral Peak.  This is supposed to sleep 5?!

Our "cottage" at Cathedral Peak. I can see why the baboons like it here...

Not the second tallest, but lovely

Not the second tallest, but lovely waterfalls

 drakensburg girls behind waterfall


drakensburg girls in hats 

In the US, the land here would be prime real estate.  However we have noticed that places like this with amazing views are not valued highly because they are a distance from the cities, so rather than California style homes on the side of these mountains, there are shacks with no running water.   We think it is ironic that the poorest in this country have the best views… I wish there was a way for them to cash in on it.

The Drakensburg Mountains with a rural village at the base
The Drakensburg Mountains with a rural village at the base

6 Responses to “Home Invasion :)”

  1. 1 Jessie Paul June 1, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    What an adventure!!! I just wanted to tell you I love reading your blog and “experiencing” South Africa with you. You have such a special family. I pray the Lord will bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you.
    Jessie Paul

  2. 2 e sherrill June 2, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Happy bday, although it is a few days late!
    It seems you have some amazing bday adventures and travels while in South Africa. I think I’m glad it was only a baboon who knew enough to run away when discovered. Thanks for all that you are sharing of your current adventures. I hope that all have recovered from the hike and are ready for the next story!

  3. 3 robyn June 3, 2009 at 4:53 am

    Amazing! – all of it; the tale of the baboon, the beautiful scenery, the extremely long hike and Brian’s injury. We are so thankful for the Lord’s continued protection on you all! love and miss you, robyn

  4. 4 Kylie June 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Wow! That’s about all I can say to the beautiful scenery and the baboon! That is quite a tale that will even be told here many times I’m sure. The pictures of all the girls (including you Kristin) are beautiful. They are great of everyone. We love you and miss you.

  5. 5 Ivan April 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Nice photos.
    We just back from there too.

    There is waterfall in Royal Natal on Thukela river, but so far away …

    See it on.



  1. 1 Waterfalls, Baboons, and Fishes « R Cubed in Africa Trackback on June 15, 2009 at 8:59 pm

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