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Published: April 18th 2010
Game Spotters Extraordinaire
Susan, me, Mitchy, Seth and Ryan - note the essential binoculars. The two guys in the background are bait.
The hunt has been on. I had expected that if we were to struggle finding any of the big five it would have been leopard. But we ticked lepard off on day three and now we are left huting frantically for lion.
Each day we have eagerly checked the Sightings Boards which they have in each camp. These let you know what has been spotted
where. Sometimes we have checked it several times a day. Then we have noted where the lions are and puttered off to see them.
But they haven't been there. They obviously don't know or don't care that we have a plane to catch shortly. They haven't been about to give themselves up, thats for sure.
Anyway, last act of day four in the park. We trun onto the H1-5 and see a van stopped up ahead by a rocky outcrop. So we dash up and I wind the window down and enquire. What are they looking at. Lion, just there behind that long grass in front of the big rock. Immediately there is a frenzy of activity with the boys on upstairs spotting duty. There is indeed a female lion and a cub
Lion at last
Photographic evidence. The elusive lion. As good as it got for us.
there but they are hard to see. I am claiming to see them but really only saw some yellowish movement from the driver's seat to be honest. But Mitchell captured it on film and the evidence is attached. I'l leave you to see for yourself. Mitchy was on camera duty and was a bit excited so the shot is a wee bit blurry. But it is indeed a lion.
Big Five. Done.
Our last two days were good. We got a system going. Early morning take off from camp. Usually the boys were still in their pyjamas but when did that ever stop anyone spotting game from a campervan. Stop somewhere in the bush about 9-ish for breakfast. Then cover a bit more grund, and when it gets too hot and animals with any sense are basking in the shade, head back to camp for a swim. The n go out again late afternoon for more spotting.
This place is amazing. On day four we were having breakfast surrounded by nothing but bush when two rhino's wander past the van. The clanking of spoons and plates suddenly went very quiet.
So we saw the lions at
The Sightings Board
Ryan and Seth celebrate our contributions
5.35pm and then had exactly 25 minutes to make it back to Skukuza or risk being locked out and/or fined.
Having done the big five and just about everything else, out last day in Kruger was pretty relaxed. We left mid-afternoon to head back to Hedley and Heather's place because we'd been invited to John & Jenny's place that night for a Poitjiekos. That was great, great company and it is really fascinating chatting about what people see for their future and the future of South Africa. There are plenty of people especially up here it seems, who are interested in what NZ has to offer, and what they'd have to do to get there. But its a very tough one for them because this place has really got something. That's what makes it so hard a decision to make, and they do have a very nice lifestyle. But there is that nagging, can't quite put your finger on it, kind of doubt about some of the things that are going on around them.
Up very early tomorrow to drive back to Joburg and fly out, so my last blog this trip will be once we've done that
How could you not like the giraffe.
and passed through Singapore. I'll be back in NZ in just under two days time. Back to reality and making plans for the next adventure, whenever that will be.
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