Finally - our great African Safari at Schotia

Trip Start Jun 22, 2010
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Saturday, June 26, 2010

So far we have really been taken in by the lovely landscape of the Garden Route but for most part, its been quite European and the only tinge of Africa has been the townships . So the Safari is something we were really looking forward to for the real taste of Africa.

It's a near 5 hours drive to Addo and we finally made a lunch stop at a petrol station about 20 minutes after Port Elizabeth. The cosy cafe had really nice African souvenir and Chung had his "crazy shopper" glint when he was bargaining with the waitress as he bought two sets of lovely African shot glasses...

We finally reach Schotia Safari reception and we are greeted by Edward, who turned out to be our Ranger. We are introduced to the Algerian family who currently resides in Barcelona and we are off for our afternoon drive.

Welcome to Jurassic Park , says Edward. Well, it is kinda like Jurassic Park with its electrical fence and then we see our first animals, the spring boks, gnu and warthog, then yeah the lovely zebra and she's pregnant.

Then its the lovely, graceful giraffes as they munch on the leaves. They have the loveliest eyelashes..Such lovely animals . Now for the lions. Edward drives towards what he thinks is the lion but soon realize it is not and so have to look for the lions again. Just as I was thinking if this was going to be as disappointing as the whale watching in Hawaii ( sidenote; the captain kept saying there's the whale... but I never saw anything) , he spots the lions. Yes it the king of the beast and they were magnificent. Guess what the Lion was doing. It was horny and trying to hump the lioness. I guess a group of excited tourist isnt the most condusive for his lady love. so both walked away kinda disgusted with the busy bodies. After some lovely pictures, Edward drove us to Orlando, the dairy farm turned to rooms for safari guests. I was told later that the owner Mr. Bean was many generations farmer who because of financial problems ( I think because of the drought in Addo) turned his farm to a successful game reserve runned by his family.

We had our coffee and tea with cakes in an old barnyard that they turned into a lovely lodge with a fireplace and hey a big screen to watch the World Cup matches. Edward tells us excitedly that tonight after dinner we can come back and watch the game there.

Then we are off to watch the sunset and it is the loveliest sunset I have ever seen . It is exactly like what I have watched in Out of Africa ( minus Robert Redford walking off into the sunset).

Oh then the action begins. Its the night safari and first we get to see the rhino and then excitedly, Edward drives us to see the two evil looking hyppos ( it is the beady eyes that make them look evil ) face off with the lions. Are we going to see a bloodbath? I expected the lions to maul the hyppos. Surprise - the hyppos are actually very dangerous animals . All the lions have gathered in positioned encircling the hyppos who are now back to back.

But the face off dwindles to a yawn. No bloodbath, no mangling and savage tearing of meat. The hippo is actually a very formidable adversary and it would take more than that team of seven to get it down. And when they bite, their teeth sink and wont let  go. Apparently , the young male tried and failed miserably. That explain why the hippo actually yawned.

So no savage killing, we are driven back to the central hut where dinner is served. There is a lovely bonfire, drinks and Edward starts playing his harmonica. We are served tender springbok meat with lovely rich gravy sauce ...

On our way back , we see a lioness and we are like the paparazzi following it, taking pictures while she actually just ran away from this bunch of busybody tourists.

Finally, we are back at the dairy farm, it is freezing cold and Edward has got the fire going while we drink and watch US losing to the Ghanians. Yahoo - africa is still in much to the dismay of the other Americans.

We retire to a nice lovely warm bed - thank goodness for electric bed warmers. A quick shower and a jump into bed .Sweet dreams.

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