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PADDY'S SOUTH AFRICAN TOUR
SABI SABI, BUSH LODGE

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Thursday PM, Friday and Saturday AM, February 18-20, 2010. The Safari began here. We boarded a plane that took us to the airport near the Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge. From there we took a coach to Shaw's Gate and transferred to camp vehicles to the Lodge.

We had our first glimpse of the bush, and arriving at the lodge we found a wonderful array of amenities, and great accommodations.

           

            

 

Our living quarters were quite large; rather than a room, it was a cottage-like set up, with a living room, a foyer, a bedroom, a bath and an enclosed outdoor area. Our beds were provided with a mosquito net. It was awesome.

               

              

                 

 

We went on our first safari drive right after we had English High Tea. It was the evening ride which would repeat daily. We boarded Land Rovers, especially designed to carry as many as 9 passengers, seating on tiered seats so as to offer the best possible views. Our driver was Fred and the tracker was Jack, from the tribe of Shaangang.  Fred carried a rifle, "just in case".  As soon as we drove into the bush, we encountered an elephant who was very friendly and curious. He got very close to the vehicle, and tried to hide behind a tree, with no luck of course.

                  

 

As we continued our drive, we saw some wildebeests and a few rhinoceros. The animals walked right in front of the Land Rover, and were not afraid, they considered us a nuisance and nothing else

           

 

Jack, our tracker, set up a small feast for us half way through the game drive. We all partook of the refreshments.

     

 

We continued our safari  and Fred showed us a lizard on his arm. We also saw a giant ant hill; he said it was termites. A shy giraffe appeared suddenly. He looked at us and sauntered away.

                   

 

Then it was time to see the rhinos. again. They marched two by two and a couple of males started a confrontation.

                  

 

After the rhinos we found kudus, African antelopes. A family was crossing the road: mom, dad, and a little one. Very cute. Mom & baby loped off soon thereafter.

                   

 

An elephant appeared again. He was looking at us very intently. Pat and Fred stood in the bush and posed for pictures; he showed us some examples of African flora.

              

 

Soon afterwards we saw the King of the Jungle. He was peacefully walking along the road, and stopped to see his mate, who was resting by the roadside. 

                            

 

On an evening game drive we saw a mother lioness and a girlfriend taking the cubs for a walk.

                   

 

 

On the following day game drive, it poured! We got very wet in spite of the ponchos that were kept in the vehicles. It was very hot and humid. Pat & I posed with Fred and Jack, who, as a tracker, showed us some leopard tracks on the sand. And sure enough, we soon found him.

                      

 

We first saw an impala, dead on top of a tree, and realized he was the leopard's kill. The cat appeared soon afterwards to eat his prey. It was awesome watching the hunter devouring the victim, raw nature at its best. After he had his fill, the leopard went down the tree with the impala in its jaws.

                            

 

 After such a spectacle of the law of the jungle, we returned to the lodge, where the whole team posed for one last picture.

     

           

The next stop is Tinga, in Kruger Park.

 

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