2/3rds of my time here is now over – time has flown by! Damien and Francesca have just spent a week here and I’ve dropped them off for their onward journey to Durban Airport. Another of life’s rich experiences also ticked off this morning – being the only white person in a busy petrol station and shop, then a one hour drive on my own which included a 30 minute journey through the game reserve, spotting Zebra, Nyala, Impala, Kudu & Duiker. What a fabulous 3 months I’m having 🙂
Francesca really wanted to see Giraffe & Elephants, and on Monday morning we had the best sighting since I’ve been here. 7 Giraffe right next to the track, with a couple of them necking, (thumping each other).
This was swiftly followed by nearly bumping into the herd of Elephants. We rounded a corner and there they were – right on the track.
Unfortunately at that time Damien and Francesca were having their induction meeting, learning all about the dangers of being in the bush – not only the obvious big things like lions and big predators, but snakes, scorpions, tick & spider bites. I was sitting in the vehicle loving the moment but also feeling really disappointed that Francesca was in the lodge. Luckily the elephants hadn’t travelled too far by the time we had our afternoon drive, and within 30 minutes we had found them again and managed to get very close.
On Thursday we went 5 minutes down the road to another reserve where they have 3 semi-wild elephants. The two adults (Rambo & Rachel) were saved from being culled and whilst they can wander freely for miles and miles each day, they come back with their guards for human interaction. They know exactly where to go and lift their trunks on verbal command. We were able to touch and feed them and even feel Rambo’s tongue !
The weather this week has been very changeable – some days we’ve needed a few layers and a coat and blanket, and others we’ve been too hot in shorts & t-shirts. On their last game drive, Damien and Francesca saw the lions for the first time all week – the lionesses were hunting, and I loved seeing Francesca’s face with a grin from ear to ear. They were stalking a baby giraffe and we all held our breaths when they each peeled off in different directions in order to close in on them from each side. We were rather relieved when the Mum and baby sensed danger and ran off. Even though the lionesses had a family to feed we wouldn’t have wanted to watch a kill being made.
Yesterday evening we could hear a male lion calling loudly and frequently – a great end to their trip.