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Weekend in a tree house By Deb Williams

The three children were beside themselves when it was announced that we were going to exchange our home for a tree house for a few days. I have to admit that the parents almost matched the children in terms of excited anticipation.

It was situated in the private Bonamanzi reserve (a Zulu term for “look at the water”), close to the well-known Hluhluwe Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. Our own real tree house, up a ladder into the tree-tops. The wooden structure was simple but totally adequate, and it was a glorious adventure from beginning to end.

Surrounded by natural forest, we were free to roam all over and bask in the bounty and beauty of nature. Dappled sunlight amidst the trees alternated with golden sunshine from clear blue skies, warming us further out in the grasslands.

There were numerous little creatures to enchant us, with the more famous Big Five accessible by car not that far away. We actually preferred wandering in the great outdoors, rather than sitting in a car hoping to spot zebras, rhino, elephants and giraffes etc. (This could however have been due to having done that often enough before.)

Simple living quarters, simple food, simple clothing, simple lifestyle – bliss!

This was in the mid 1980s. I wonder what it is like there now.


in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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I love life! Until 2010 life in South Africa was great, and now life in Australia is great. Consciously choosing to remain focussed on the positive really works, and my life is testimony to that.

See Deb's profile.

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