CROOK'S CORNER - LOTS OF SHENANIGANS
Up early, breakfast in the Chief's hall is polony, hot chips, baked beans, boiled eggs and Baker's biscuits, then we are back on the road. A ranger who knows his way around the landmines is in the lead vehicle.
We turn off the main road - white pieces of paper stuck on thorn bushes mark the route, and there is a beautiful fever tree forest to our right. The track narrows, the bushes scratching the sides of the Landies before it opens up onto a dry riverbed.
"Guys, soft sand ahead," comes Ross over the radio, "Low ratio and difflock please. If you feel you're going down, let some air out of your tyres."
We wade across the flooded Limpopo to Crooks Corner in South Africa, aptly named after all theshenanigans and ivory smuggling that took place in this little corner of Africa where South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique meet at the confluence of the Luvubo and Limpopo Rivers. In the early 1900s, this area was a safe haven for gunrunners, poachers, fugitives and anyone else dodging the law - it was an easy hop across the river whenever police from one particular country approached.
There is a large plaque here commemorating the legendary ivory hunter and notorious outlaw Cecil Barnard (Bvekenya), who hid on an island in the middle of the Limpopo to avoid being tracked down by pursuing rangers in the 1920s.
Ironically, Barnard later became a ranger himself. What makes today special is that Isak Barnard, the son of Bvekenya, is here to meet us with stories of the past. We dip the Zulu calabash to add another small amount of iconic water to carry across to Africa's west coast, as Sandra Basson, head of Kruger's northern Pafuri section, draws a map in the sand to show us where we are.
This region is one of the Kruger's biodiversity hotspots, with some of the largest herds of elephant and buffalo, as well as leopard, lion and incredibly prolific birdlife. In 2007, it was declared a Ramsar site - a wetland of international importance. Ahead of us lies a new TFCA.