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Published: August 23rd 2019
Thursday, August 22, 4:00am - Wake up! It’s time for the sunrise Safari drive.
Dressed in layers, scarf, hat, and covered in big blankets, we begin our morning drive in the open Jeep. Our guide Michelle, is sure to tell us it’s possible we might not see any lions or other cats, “I won’t purposefully drive where I know there’s nothing to see” she tells us, to prepare us for possible disappointment.
And a bit disappointed we were, we saw a sleeping lion far far away, but that’s all. Besides all the other animals we’ve already seen, and are exciting to see over and over.
“The impala is my best friend” Michelle said, “they never disappoint.” So true. And they are very cute and graceful, but they are the prey. We wanted the predator.
We returned to camp at 8:00am and prepared to leave. The Skakuza airport was an hour away, driving through the Park and we needed to be there by 12:30.
With the Two guided drives, we saw beautiful birds and animals but none of the exciting predators. Our own drive towards the airport, we hit the jackpot!
Our first sighting was of a lioness devouring her kill. She
was hidden behind high grass but we were able to see her and her bloody mouth.
Next sighting, and for this one we were the first cars there, so front row seats, one male lion and three lionesses strolling. That was very exciting!
We were starting to run late getting to our destination. But all the animals were out in full force to say goodbye to us. It was glorious.
Third sighting, two lionesses and three cubs strolling down the main road as the cars parted to the sides to watch them. Our hearts beating hard from being so close. And babies! That was the highlight.
A few interesting animal facts we learned:
Widow makers - a nickname for cape bulls bcz they are very aggressive and fight each other.
Red billed ox pecker- eats the ticks off the bulls and giraffe
Zebra- old French for wild horse
Skakuza airport, tiny, unique, pretty and luxurious. We boarded a tiny plane (same size as the one from Zimbabwe) for a one hour flight to Johannesburg. “You’ll have plenty of time to catch your connecting flight” everyone told us. Ha!
Every time we have had two flights to get to our
destination, we’ve had to get our bags after the first flight and then recheck in. It’s a huge hassle. This time we had a very short period of time between landing and having to recheck in. 45 minutes to be exact. Adam took all our passports and ran to try to start the checking in while the rest of us waited for luggage. Considering that it was such s small plane we thought it wouldn’t take long to get our bags. It didn’t, except one bag was missing, my mom’s. Adam was writing us that we needed to run to check in, that we were very low on time. STRESSFUL.
The luggage belt began to move again and lo and behold, there was my mother’s luggage. So, we ran to check in. Just to be told that Shaya and Rotem did not have seats and would have to wait for the next flight. That sucked, but the next flight was in two hours, so lo nora.
At that point the rest of us had to run to boarding. The line for security was very long, and here Adam’s Israeliness won the day and we flew past everyone, snaking around and
around the line till we got to the front. He was at the lead just forging ahead, I was at the rear saying “sorry, sorry, we’re late to our flight”. We made it and weren’t even the last ones on board.
We picked up our car (big enough that the rental place calls it a bus) and found our way to the suite hotel. It was around 9pm and we were all exhausted. The hotel seemed very nice online but when we entered our room the smell and look reminded me of my grandma’s hotel she stayed in every Winter in Miami Beach, the Royal Palm (minus the peeing boy statue) circa 1988. And on top of that something was wrong with my bed. It slanted down so when I laid on it I rolled towards the edge.
They came to check it out. And turns out the feet of the bed were not there. What?!?
What a long long day from 4am in the freezing cold to 10pm rolling off my bed. What will tomorrow have in store?
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