Our African safari is now a wonderful memory. As much as Australia is now our home, Africa will always be the red clay around our roots and the sights, sounds and smells of the bushveld is a tonic that needs regular topping up.
We tackled the trade winds across the Indian Ocean to spend our holidays in deepest darkest Africa.
We spent time at Lazy River, a lovely game farm near Waterval Boven, where we spotted wildebeest and blesbuck, amongst other animals, and spent some time fly fishing in the trout dams.
The rustic rock cottage accommodated our extended families comfortably. The cousins all had a great time and my boys enjoyed all the motorised toys on offer, burning enough fuel to keep Saudi Arabia's oil fields in business. The cold misty weather was just perfect as we compared bottles of wine while sitting around the log fire most evenings.
A two hour journey north through towns with unrecognisable names had us at the beautiful Makwekwe game farm in the Waterberg with an impressive selection of antelope, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, ostriches and many other creepy crawlies.
The lodge and guest house are perched up on a hill with beautiful views and spectacular sunsets. The days were filled with bass fishing, bush drives and walks. The boys furthered their motorbike and buggy driving skills daily while their parents studied the contents of the first aid kit.
We were lucky enough to spend a day in the Entabeni Safari Conservancy, which is known as "The Place of the Mountain", and is situated in the World Heritage Waterberg Biosphere. The upper escarpment has majestic craggy rock formations and wide open grass plains and is separated from the lower plateau by 600 metre high cliffs.
We also got up close and personal with a lot of buck, some rhino and a pride of lion during our drive.
Our holiday ended with a couple of days of farewell with family in Pretoria and Joburg and with just a few grams to spare we checked our luggage in and took off back to the land downunder.
Bianca has come down with a serious bout of home sickness, but we've kept her mind off it by ensuring there is always washing to be done or hungry tummies to fill. She's also been teaching little grade ones and preschoolers, who are driving her nuts and making us three boys look well behaved in comparison.
The year started with us spending the Australia Day long weekend up the Sunshine Coast with mates. We took a day drive up past Noosa to the beach at Double Island Point, which is within the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park. I embarrassed myself by testing my skills on a long surf board in front of a packed beach.
The following weekend we had a boy's fishing expedition on a mate's 40ft cruiser in winds of 25 knots. We all had to meet at the pontoon at 9am sharp and I knew I was excited about the trip when I was ready two hours early. We anchored behind Stradbroke Island at Myora Creek, baited up our biggest hooks and cast towards the horizon. We then attacked the eskies and passed the time chatting, eating and combating dehydration.