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Old 07-11-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Allentown, Pa
Posts: 220

South Africa Trip report Day 10 &11

Day 10
5:30 Wake up call for everyone at the lodge. We dressed in layers, I put my pants on over my pajama pants, 3 shirts, 2 fleeces and a sweater. 6:00 is tea and rusks, hard biscotti like biscuits that you dip in your tea or coffee. they have some croissants and other things as well, but this is pre breakfast. Everyone is loaded in their safari vehicle and off by 6:30 am. We were looking for lions, but didn't find any this time. We saw wildebeast, Zebra and Impala. Then Another adventurer spotted something that looked like a big rock. We went to investigate and it was a huge old bull Cape Buffalo.

Calvin brought us righ up to him. Pretty awesome. He stood up and grazed a bit. After about 1 1/2 hours, they stopped the vehicles and pulled out the tables and served coffee and rusks again. Onward we drove. We saw zebra and kudu. Back to the lodge for breakfast, this time a big buffet (I'm still full thinking about it). we went back to our rooms and took off lots of layers. Today the weather was beautiful. It got hot enough for short sleeves for a few hours.
Next, Disney arranged for an archery champion to teach us the art of archery.
This was a lot of fun. Other guests at the hotel have no extra activities other than the drives. My husband won the competition. He is crazy competitive and I ditched archery and went over to the beading lady. We made necklaces and bracelets.

Oh well, we hadn't eaten in a few hours, so LUNCH. Lunch was at yet another outdoor, but shaded venue. Lots of lovely salads and grilled meats. We ate quickly because we had booked side by side massages at the wellness center (really Tina booked them for us). This was a beautiful facility right in the compound.

This is me after the massage. the picture doesnt do justice to how beautiful it was. Our massages were in a room with a huge window overlooking the bush. I really enjoyed this. We both showered in the locker room there, and then back to the room to layer up again. While we were at the wellness center, our kids attempted to swim in the not heated pool. They lasted about 10 minutes.
Another tea, then into the vehicles for another Safari. We came upon a herd of buffalo. My son spotted them. we drove right up to them. We were in search of elephants and our trusty tracker, Rogers, was keen on the trail. When it was nearly dark we found the elephants. Calvin drove fast to get in front of them so we could see them coming at us. This whole herd of elephants walked right out of the bush and across the road right in front of us.

I actually think these photos are from the next day, because it was nearly dark now, so my pics are a little dark from that day.
We went searching for night animals. Finally found a lioness. She was separated from her pride and was roaring trying to find them. those pics are dark as well.
Back to the lodge. Disney had a private dinner again. This time we were making bush pizzas. This was listed as a junior activity, but we all did it. So much fun. There was also a big bon fire (did I mention everything was outdoors) where we roasted dough to make a sort of pig in the blanket.

This is my family making pizza. They made me a pizza too. Next down to the snake pit, a room downstairs (INSIDE) where we watched THe Lion KIng. I actually took that time, to update my journal and I hopped on the one computer terminal available and posted to you.
We could barely stay awake another moment, and so bed time.

Day 11
5:30 wake up, 6am tea, 6:30 safari. This was an especially long and exciting drive. We went after elephants first. The guides radio around when then find something good and then several vehicles converge on the spot. We saw a herd of 18 elephants grazing. Lots of moms and small calves. We checked out a herd of buffalo wallowing in the mud. Saw some giraffe, kudu, antelope, warthogs. Heard about a spotting of a possibly dead lion. When we got there, we made a little too much noise, NOT Dead. the lion stood up and looked at us, then it resettled itself. He had a female by his side. Next we went to find a leopard that the guides had radioed about. Found it sitted a few feet from it's fresh kill an unlucky warthog. We spotted rhinos on the way back to the lodge. Awesome drive.
Back to lodge, breakfast, change clothes, then and insect and snake presentation only for Disney. This was a lot of fun. we held a boa constrictor.

Lunch and a little time to read then layer up, tea, and safari drive. We drove out to the dam, where Johan gave us a survival lesson and we made molds of some actual lion prints.

Sundowner drinks and then off on our drive. we saw a mom and baby giraffe. finally made it to the hippos. It was getting dark. Hippos stayed in the water, but you could see the heads and occasionally the lifted their heads and opened wide.

Back to the lodge for the farewell dinner. Sorry, I'm not going to spill the beans on this one. No pics for you either. It was a wonderful dinner with terrific entertainment.

There's more
Day 12
5:30, 6, 6:30 (you know it already). This was our last drive. I am going from memory now, because I never finished my journal for this day. We went back for the hippos since they were tough to see in the dark.

We also went in search of Lions. We found a large male roaming around, and again we raced to get in front of him.

Later we found a litter of nearly grown lion cubs, all females, lounging on a giant termite hill.

I don't remember the rest. I am terrible and I'm sorry I didn't finish my journal.

One more cool picture.

Back to the lodge, breakfast.. Then just enough time to shower and pack and back in the vehicles and off to the airport. We flew as a group back to Johannesburg, where we said our goodbyes, but, kept seeing each other over and over in the airport.
Loved every second of this trip.
To my fellow adventureres: I tried to post only pics of my family, but you may have made it in there anyway, so I hope you are not upset with that. We loved meeting you or meeting you again.

Last edited by abbyjt; 07-11-2009 at 11:43 AM.
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