Tomorrow we’re headed for the Highlands in Mpumalanga. I’m writing a story about some of the small towns in this undeniably ‘green and pleasant’ province. I know it’s an area renowned for its fly-fishing and rock-climbing, its outdoor pursuits – I think, though, that what teases my mind is the fact is that the region is home to Africa’s only breeding community of wild black leopard. Or so I’m told.
And the region’s back-story is this: a number of South African (Anglo-Boer) War battles were fought here a century ago – in fact, Dullstroom was torched by British forces. I’ll keep my eyes open for ruined forts and trenches in the area. The Highlands Meander is, in fact, a war route; though now it’s more well-known for its farm-stalls, restaurants and scenery.
I’ll let you know if I see a black leopard. Or the ghost of a soldier. Or something. That’s if I’m not wholly sidetracked by the quiet streams and stone lodges.