Don't get out of the car!

Trip Start Jun 09, 2008
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of South Africa  ,
Monday, December 22, 2008

Hello all,
 We have been having an amazing time exploring the Garden Route along the coast of South Africa.  At the beginning of December our friend Boyd invited us to accompany him and some friends to his family's lake cabin in Sedgefield. He picked us up early in the morning and by lunch time we had launched the ski boat. The cabin was beautiful, after having been accustomed to one room dwellings with the toilet in the shower (literally), it was like a 5 star resort. It was equipped with every lake toy imaginable, and over the course of a week we used them all. It also came with two very nice parents and amazing food that just kept coming! After the parents headed back to Cape Town the cabin had a revolving door of fun friends stopping by every few days.
Mornings were spent water skiing, afternoons spent napping and evenings were spent over several bottles of good wine and conversation. We did not want the week to end, its amazing how easily your body becomes accustomed to good food and clean linen.(1st world) lol
   But the time had come and we waved goodbye to Boyd from the side of the road and waited for our bus ( which was only 2 hours late). We were headed to Port Elizabeth for what was to be the highlight of our trip, SAFARI!!!! I could write a novel on how incredible our day was.....INCREDIBLE! We were picked up bright and early (by Steve Irwin), headed for ADDO Elephant Reserve. We had been in the reserve for a total of 5 minutes when we spotted our first female elephant no more than 4 feet from our van. And the excitement didn't stop, off we went to a  watering hole, where we got a rare glimpse of the two largest male elephants together, apparently they are normally fighting. Then we were surrounded by elephants, at least 20 at one time, and they had babies!! The cutest little (big) things we have ever seen running and playing together all around our van.
    After the morning with the elephants, we continued our safari at the Schotia lion reserve. We hopped into a 9 person, open air, safari jeep. Let me repeat open air! We spent the afternoon off roading through the bush, spotting Gazelles, Bush buck, Wart Hogs, Zebras and parked within a few feet of a family of Giraffes. But the day was not going to be compete until we found the Lions. And as the sunset the Lions awoke, the first lion we pulled up next to was the largest male lion in the reserve and he was laying merely 15 feet away from us. This was closer than I ever expected to get to a wild lion and it was nerve racking, yet amazing. Our croc hunter guide then pointed out across the hills at least 200 stampeding animals and he thought a lion had found dinner. We were told to hold on tight and flew over to see the lions kill. We pulled up, again way too close, to a female lion and its kill. Which much to my dismay was still alive and was a baby gazelle no more than a few days old. We watched while the lioness tortured the baby needing to catch her breath before eating it. I was the only person in the jeep who found this offensive and heart breaking, but this is how it is done here in the bush of Africa!      
     After dinner our guide offered  us either tea or a night safari lion hunt, we chose the latter. lol And with only the spot lights coming off the jeep we saw the glowing eyes of a pack of lions come into view. If they were creepy during the daytime, it was nothing compared to how vulnerable you felt at night. lol We sat, frozen with fright, as they walked all around our jeep, practically rubbing up against the wheels. As we watched the pack of lions head off on the prowl for the nights meal, we felt that our day in the bush was a success!
     Then back home to Cape Town to enjoy our last 2 weeks in South Africa. Boyd invited us to join him and his family for "carols by candlelight" at the botanical gardens. It feels so odd to be singing Christmas carols in 80 degree heat. The garden and the backdrop were stunning, we sat on a lush out door amphitheater surrounded by table mountain, enjoying a lavish spread of meat, wine and cheeses. We love Boyd's family!!
 
 The time has come to say goodbye to Africa, (it was hard to part with our bikes) and hello Thailand!

Merry Christmas Everyone,

T & B Production Ltd.
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Comments

michael.a
michael.a on

Safari
The similarities between your African Wildlife Safari and what I experience when walking from my West Los Angeles apartment to 7-11 are uncanny. On both trips you'll see wild creatures lounging; on a safari a lion in the bush; on my walk to 7-11, a homeless guy on the sidewalk--peeing in a bush.

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