28 Jan 2017

Travel Diaries #3: The Bush Routine

Travel Diaries on vickiarcher.com

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Madikwe Game Reserve on the border of Botswana, Friday, 

There is a routine to life in the African bush.

And as unfamiliar and rare as it is to me I guess it is the everyday for the locals.

The day starts at 5am with a quick wake-up, a hasty dress and a welcome cuppa and then it’s straight out and into the wild with bright eyes and a heart full of hope. Everyday for the novice is a new adventure and no two days are alike.

The challenge of looking is what I enjoy because the rewards are monumental. One of my readers cleverly suggested I, “Look through the bush not into the bush”. How right she is and what a difference her nuance has made. On close inspection the vegetation runs in corridors and there are spaces between the thick scrub and scrawny bush. Once the eyes adjust it is as if a veil has been lifted and magically the beauty of nature is revealed; almost like a secret club.

I wouldn’t say I’m winning but I am far more in tune than I was.

4 or 5 hours later and we are back to the lodge for a breakfast of champions; appetites seem to match the size of the magnificent 5; my pants aren’t getting any looser. The afternoon kicks in around 4pm with another game drive and more wishful thinking. So far we have been very fortunate and seen much beauty close up and unimpeded.

The African safari is a languid activity with lashings of excitement. I love the silence punctuated with unfamiliar sounds, the mental switch off and the reminder that nature rules. All thoughts escape in the search for a Lion cub, a cheeky Hyena or the reclusive Leopard. Incalculable minutes tick by as their behaviours are observed in silence and hours can vanish as trackers and rangers play the roles of super sleuth.

At night the stories flow and that’s the engaging part when groups exchange their tales, talk of their sightings and embellish the close-up and not so comfortable moments.  Nothing like a delicious drop of red to bring those elephants closer and the lions more ferocious ;)

The safari fashion is another facet that appeals.

I am intrigued how dressing tips from the practical to the fashionable; how the uniquely cultural can become the mode. I need no excuse to wear khaki; ever since my hair switch to grey, khaki has been one of the ‘neutrals’ I wear constantly.

Today am thinking specifically of the beaded bracelet.

Whether in the arts and crafts shops or the markets of Johannesburg and the small boutiques in the safari lodges, the beaded bracelet is the accessory to wear.

And the more the merrier.

Wraps, single bands in all colours and kinds are on the wrists. I have always been a fan of the bracelet, as you know, so I am wrapping and snapping as many as my wrists will take. It is certainly not a new trend but it is one that I haven’t paid enough attention to.

The bracelets really add a bit of something to the practical khaki on khaki on khaki. I am a Chan Luu fan so a few new beads to mix in are just the thing.

I can find fashion wherever I go ;) xv

Wrap And Roll

**glass pearls //  chan luu wrap  //  leather and pearl  // chan luu turquoise

**pink beads  //  **yellow beads  //  **beaded set of 5  //  silver agate

image, madikwe hillside lodge

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Taste of France

Some of my most treasured jewelry (aside from that given to me by my mother) I bought during my travels. Every time I wear a piece, I am taken back across the world again. No designer names, though I often met the creators. One-of-a-kind pieces. One of my favorites is a wide cuff carved from a cow bone by a Maasai. You’d never know.


The photo reminds me of a film I loved … White Mischief .. one of the actors, wakes up, gets out of bed, looks out the window at that incredible view and says … “Another F*ing Beautiful Day ” :)


Dear Vicki, what a precious picture from your trip ! You are bringing us with you in this beautiful adventure. claudiag


Smiling about the fashion wherever you go, Vicki. It sounds like the days and nights you are spending in Botswana are truly magical, I am enjoying the magic along with you. It’s as if you’ve entered an entirely different world, one filled with sights, sounds and experiences so unlike ours here. The most amazing thing is how time lingers…no rushing around, you can almost hear the clock tick minute by long minute, no?

Kathy Kelada

Vicki, I am living vicariously through your daily posts! I’ve never been to Africa, well northern Africa (Egypt), but this is so exciting and you can really get the sense of peace and quiet from your pictures and writing. Thank you for taking me along on this journey. Keep it coming!!


What a view! I have been wanting to go on a safari ever since I discovered the National Geographic live safari’s on the web. They go out on 3 hr drives twice a day and allow viewers to pose questions via email or twitter and answer them live. I wonder how close you are to where they are? Djuma and Arathusa in Sabi Sands.

Anita Rivera

VICKI! This is stunning and what a different sort of elegance, silence, environment! The world is gorgeous in all its variety of landscapes, and it’s up to us to find that beauty. Well done. Enjoy!


Love African bracelets.
Interiors, would love to mine so such to be as the chic there. Travelled to a lot of fabulous places.
Safari, lost my heart to it. Rhythm of nature.
Sure you understand.


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