Ostrich nibbled our car mirror- Reserve Africaine

Trip Start Feb 28, 2010
Trip End Aug 28, 2010

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Flag of France  , Languedoc-Roussillon,
Friday, May 21, 2010

We had an exciting family day today at the Reserve Africaine. It is a 300 hectare wildlife park with 3800 animals, mostly from Africa in their natural habitat. You drive around in your car through most of the park and there is a small part where you can wander. I have been to the Serengeti, albeit years ago and even I was impressed with this park and what we saw. Very different from a zoo in the city. As we drove around we saw such a variety of animals wandering about and so close - impala, rhino, buffalo, ostrich, springbok, zebra, antilope, giraffe, bears from Tibet, lions and many more. There were very clear safety rules which Genevieve has written in her diary.
1. It is forbidden to feed any animal
2. Drive at 10kph
3. Do not open your windows and doors.
4. These animals are dangerous. Do not stop your car in front of a bear, lion or rhinocerous
5. Do not get out of your car for any reason whatsoever.

There were so many highlights it is difficult to recount every minute of the trip. The ostriches were fighting and then one came and checked us out and took a fancy to our car mirror. I drove on quickly thinking how would we explain this to Peugeot when we return the car. The bear parc was the scariest.  We were given a specific leaflet when we entered giving us another warning about not stopping and to close your windows tight. We came across a bear in the middle of the road and had no choice but to drive past with 2 feet to spare. Thank goodness the lions were basking in the sun on the grass. The temperatures hit 40 degrees outside.

There is a great area where you can get out and walk. Here we saw alligators, flamingoes(my favourite), camels, emus, lepoards, hyenas, pelicans, snakes, porcuipines, wallabies to name a few. The peacocks were showing off which we have captured on video. Also feeding time with the hyenas and leopards was a highlight although you didn't want to look too closely as the chickens were alive just a minute beforehand.

We drove home along the etang(lagoon) to Narbonne which was a change from the vineyards veiw. We had to stop at a village for bread and fruit as some how we had missed lunch and the girls were starving. Felicity cooked us Choc Self Saucing Pudding for dessert tonight. Yummy.

A quiet day at home the next day lounging by the pool and catching up on that school work.
Simon went for a glorious cycle through the vineyards in the early evening, not a car in sight, the frogs croaking and the  birds singing.Time to pack up tonight as we are heading to Barcelona tomorrow. We are very sad to be leaving this luxurious manoir and this region. After 10 days we have only just scratched the surface.
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