Today is a bittersweet day as we close the chapter on one adventure and look forward t starting a new one. We headed out on our last safari, satisfied with all we have seen the past three day and not having any high expectations. Needless to say, it was one of the most exciting trips we had.
It started out by seeing three hyenas, followed by the Styx pride finishing off the last bits of an impala-evidently they found success after we left them last night. Louis heard there was a herd of buffalo near the airport strip, so we headed off to see them.
As we were driving down the road we saw a lone bull elephant grazing along with three adult giraffes and one baby that still had a piece of the umbilical cord attached.
There was a herd of impala beyond where the giraffes were grazing that held the baby giraffe’s curiosity.
On the way to the herd we saw the young male lion again-he didn’t look quite so bad this morning, and four warthogs who didn’t run when we approached them.
One wildebeest made an appearance as we approached the herd of buffalo.
There were several hundred buffalo spread out across the airfield-new calves, cows, and young and old bulls. Some were grazing, some resting, and others rolling in the mud at one of the two watering holes. It was an amazing sight to see. As we started to leave we noticed that some of the herd was beginning to move off into the brush.
Louis drove us to the end of the airstrip where we stopped for our morning coffee break.
While we were getting off of the Land Rover three zebra suddenly appeared out of the brush. They were very nervous and went back into the brush, walked past the Land Rover, then came back out onto the airstrip and walked towards the buffalo herd.
When it was time to head back to the lodge Louis said he had heard of one more thing we would like to see. Driving back down the airstrip it was astounding to see the whole herd had disappeared into the bush with the exception of three bulls. It just goes to show how lucky we were to see them when we did. We continued on, saw some rhinos off in the distance on a hill, and wondered what it was we were going to see.
Just past the male lion, Michael directed Louis into the bush. There was another group there looking up-one of the mother leopards was sitting forty feet up in a tree with a freshly killed impala beside her. She is watching the young male lion which was lying in the bush about 100 yards away. Incredible! Louis told us a female leopard weighs about 35 Kg, and the impala weighs about 40 Kg. It is incomprehensible to think about the strength she has not only in her legs, but also in her jaws to be able to hold onto the impala as she drags it forty feet up the tree. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end our safari. I am so very grateful to our Heavenly Father for creating such a beautiful land with such magnificent animals, and for blessing us with perfect weather and wonderful opportunities to see all that we did.
ANIMAL COUNT: elephants-1, lions-1 + 11, buffalo-a whole herd, leopards-1, rhinos-2, giraffes-4, impala-numerous, wart hogs-4, wildebeest-1, water buck-3
When we arrived back at the lodge Jim and I hurried to put a few things into our suitcases, checked out, and got into the van that would take us on the drive back to the airport. Today's driver was faster than the one we had on Friday, and we made the drive in 2 1/2 hours. The flight to Cape Town took 2 1/2 hours.
There are some beautiful mountains east of Cape Town. Our cab driver was waiting to take us to Abbey Manner, located at the base of Table Mountain and overlooking Cape Town. It is a wonderful bed and breakfast. The bad news is we were informed that our shark cage dive scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled due to the anticipated arrival of a stormy cold front. Hopefully it will move through before we leave on Saturday so we can rebook it. For dinner we walked across the street to a little corner shop called Carlucci's and had some tasty sandwiches.