Another day, another game drive

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Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Sabi Sands
November 15th 2008
Published: November 25th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

It’s quiet this Saturday morning as we drive through the bush. Enoch teases that the animals partied too hard last night. First stop, the watering hole with the dead elephant to see if there has been any action. Yesterday, the ecologist opened the hide of the decaying carcass so that the animals would be able to eat.

Guess who found it first? That roar we heard last night was the lonely lion calling his brother, saying, “dinner time.”

When the Land Rover stops near the watering hole, there is Mr. Lonely Lion guarding his meal while he waits for brother lion to appear. The stench is overwhelming. Vultures crowd the branches of all the surrounding trees waiting for a turn to eat.

Continuing the morning drive, Enoch spots two rhino. We watch as they stay just far enough away to make photographing them difficult. Next, we sit at another watering hole to watch a hippo take his morning soak. Sightings of impala, kudu, bushbuck and nyala have become so commonplace that we don’t even bother to photograph them.

Returning to Ivory Lodge, Alan and I enjoy eggs benedict for breakfast. Then, it’s back to our villa where I’ve scheduled a massage. After all, how can a writer describe a spa treatment in the bush without experiencing one? Oh, the sacrifices I must make for my work. The spa table sits in front of the plunge pool, while a Nora Jones CD plays in the background. I experience the “Wisdom of Africa Revitalizing” treatment as tiny gnats occasionally nip at my neck. I forgot about the African bugs.

On our afternoon game drive, a couple from Holland joins us. After stopping to photograph an elephant standing in the riverbed, it’s back to the smelly waterhole to see what has happened since this morning. The lion’s belly looks full as he guards the elephant carcass. His brother hasn’t appeared yet but the vultures are becoming braver, sneaking in for a taste when Mr. Lonely Lion isn’t looking.

At sundowners, the call of baboons and hippo serenade us as we sip champagne while watching an African sunset. On arrival at the lodge, the bartender, Derrick, serves glasses of amarula mixed with kaluha when we step off the Land Rover.

Later, a Scottish writer entertains guests with a whiskey tasting. Then, the staff leads us outside for tonight’s dinner. Tables draped in white linen cloths sit around a fire ring. Oil lanterns hang from tree branches and twinkle on the tables, a very romantic ending to our stay at Ivory Lodge.

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


25th November 2008

It was about this time last year that we were in Sabi Sands. A wonderful place!! It looks like you had as much fun as we did!! I hope Alan brought his telephoto lens. :) Enjoyed the pics, TeamTurner
25th November 2008

TeamTurner, I remember your blog posts about Sabi Sands. Enjoyed reading them. Yes, Alan brought his telephoto lens. He's shooting in RAW format so I'll be adding his photos after we return home and he's had time to process them.
26th November 2008

Great Pictures with Wonderful Scenes
Really wonderful pictures. I felt like i have enjoyed the trip.

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