Thohoyandou, situated in the far North of the Limpopo province, is classified by some as a township and by others a city.
I visited Thohoyandou for a few days on a business trip. We were taking images of the roofs of certain buildings using a drone. The drive to Thohoyandou was a long journey but as were turned off onto the road that would lead us to Thohoyandou, greenery filled the landscape. A mist hung over the mountains, coating the leaves in moisture. It immediately felt like we were transported to some jungle.
This was my first visit to Thohoyandou and the stories I have heard were not very encouraging. Tales of increased crime plagued my thoughts and my nerves flared up. We turned into Thohoyandou and were surrounded by people.
There are a lot of people! A lot! They walked across the main street with no concern for the oncoming traffic. The cars swerved left and right, not thinking of the cars to the left or right. It was a mess!
We booked into the Khoroni hotel and took a moment to relax.
We headed to the first building, drone in hand, determined to finish out task as soon as possible. Our assignment was to photograph the roof of four buildings. My manager was the pilot and I, the assistant, helping where needed.
As we approached the first building, the mist thickened and a faint drizzle started. My concern for our safety, and the drone’s condition, only created more stress. The drone flew into position and stopped. The most was too dense for the sensors to operate efficiently, or so we theorized, and the aborted the mission. Bystanders had gathered in awe of this drone and the stood bundled around the pilot to sneak a peek. I started preparing myself for the worsted. Scenarios of muggings flooded through my mind.
The drone landed safely and we packed up and left. Disappointed, and wet, we returned to the hotel and waited for the mist to clear. I went to my room and, accidentally, fell asleep.
Suddenly I was awoken my an excited voice. The mist had clear and were had a perfect opportunity to finish the first building. We rushed over, setup the drone and off it went. It flew over the building in a few strokes and returned, in less than five minutes. Excited by the quick return, we headed the next building.
We were able to finish the task within half an hour! I was impressed! We returned to the hotel and I had a short opportunity to operate the drone. I was hooked! It was an amazing feeling to control something that could fly so fast, far and high.
We packed up and had an early night.
All in all, I had a better trip in Thohoyandou than expected.
Things to Remember
- This is Africa! It may seem like a joke but it gets dangerous. Caution and being observant is essential.
- Don’t walk around with cellphones and wallets in the open.
- Stay in a hotel as anything less starts pushing your boundaries.
Thohoyandou is not a very large place and if you are staying in the town, you will most likely be staying indoors. There is more to do as you leave Thohoyandou. Wildlife reserves as a common occurrence in these areas.
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