.... and we're off!! Day 2 of our SA adventure
Trip Start Dec 23, 2010
5Trip End Jan 17, 2011
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Where I stayed
Shining Waters Guest House, Wilderness
The weather was nasty, rainy and a little cold and since the sanctuary was located in a remote location down a dirt road so the car got a mud bath from the get go. Thankfully, we arrived just in time to have some nice coffee and tea prior to our outing. We were then outfitted in nice rain jackets and set off to see our first cats- Caracals. We went into their habitat and were greeted by one of the two cats- they were father and son. The son was very friendly but the father stayed quite a ways from us the whole time keeping a watchful eye. It was a little surprising to us that the one immediately came up to us and started rubbing his head against our legs and purring- just like our cats at home! Speaking of, I am pretty sure Luma escaped from this place... maybe we should take him back...
Next we visited the Leopard... what an amazing creature... so incredibly beautiful but so unpredictable as well. It was for this reason that no one is allowed inside his habitat. We were lucky that the only employee "brave enough" to go in with the leopard was our guide that day.
Carrying on we went to see the Cheetahs. When we entered their area our guide asked us if we could spot them, we couldn't, and he replied that they both could see us. It was amazing (and a little scary) how well they could hide in the bush! The first cat we walked towards was sleeping is tall grass and wasn't a prime candidate for a photo op.
The other Cheetah was laying down nearby in an open area and as we approached he watched us without moving a muscle. The guide asked me to move over by the Cheetah, so I did... then he said closer and closer and closer- now I was right next to him. He then stood up to sit and started sniffing my legs. The next thing I feel is my hand in his mouth and the guide yells "NO DUMO, NO!" to the cat and then the cat stops mouthing me. I think Darron almost died having visions of being wifeless and telling my parents I was eaten by a Cheetah. That moment made me realize that I was showing too much fear and needed
to be a little more confident so I followed the guide's orders by
crouching behind him and petting him!!
It was amazing!! You would think a Cheetah to be soft but their coat is very thick, course and curly in some parts. Darron was next in line to take pictures with the Cheetah and I am very proud to say he did... so brave!
Next we visited the Serval cats. There were 2 adults and 1 baby in the habitat. These were very sweet cats- tons of rubbing our legs and purring. Tenikwa was quite an experience and one we will never forget!
Our next stop was lunch at the Pepper Mill. Darron and I had our first fish and chips- which were huge portions!
After lunch we went down the road to Monkeyland and Birds of Eden. Both are giant enclosed outdoor areas that contain all species of monkeys and birds. We could walk freely in both areas to observe the animals- it was nice but packed full of people on holiday.
Birds of Eden
At this point we were getting pretty tired and decided to move on to Wilderness and check into Shining Waters Guest House