South Africa – Day 8
Our morning once again started at 5:30am by waking up and getting ready. We had a quick hot chocolate/tea and ginger cookies before we went out on our game drive. Our guide and tracker were following lion tracks but they led us to an area where we couldn’t drive in. It didn’t seem like we would see much but then we met up with the other Ezuliwini truck who had been following leopard tracks. We got to see a male leopard (Chavaluthu) and he was so beautiful. We went off roading into the bush, which is quite the adventure. Our vehicle would run over small trees, large bushes and bushes with huge thorns just to get close to the leopard. After we stayed with the leopard for awhile, we left and went to another spot and got to see a cheetah! France, our guide said it was rare to see a cheetah since they tend to like more open space to run and catch their prey at their max speed.
While driving around, we also saw a hyena run across the road, but we didn’t get a good look at him. We also saw a black backed jackal, wildebeest, impala and giraffe. After our drive, we came back to Billy’s Lodge for breakfast. We didn’t stop today for drinks and snacks because we were following the cats, which was completely fine by us. The leopard was just breath taking.
After breakfast, Brandon and I took a nap out on the couch on the pergola that sits out from the lodge. The breeze was so nice and relaxing! When we woke up, there were a couple of giraffe off in the distance, so we called the kids to see if they could see the.. They were too far off to see from the phone but it was nice to talk to the kids! It was then time for lunch and today we had chicken pot pie, salad and baked potato.
It was then time to go on our afternoon game drive. We first saw a wildebeest, then a warthog coming out of his den, a female lion sleeping and two hyena. The lion was beautiful! France told us that hyena are one of the ugly 5, which made me laugh! We then saw another wildebeest and kudu. After those sightings, we then drove down to the river to see if we could find any hippopotamus. We didn’t see any hippos at the first stop but we did spot a couple huge crocodiles, so that was pretty awesome! We went a little further down the river and got out of the truck and walked to the river to get a better view of the hippos! We caught a couple of them yawning, so seeing their teeth and how huge they were was very cool!
We then stopped for drinks and snacks and then made our way back to where we saw them female lion from earlier today. It was now dark and we got to see a male lion and a female lion. It is amazing how they do not get scared by the trucks and lights that are put on them. They just laid there as we all watched, they were beautiful! After the lions, we then came back to the lodge and Lauren had us all come down to the cellar to try some wine. The cellar was beautiful and such a neat place to store wine. It was then time for dinner and they did a BBQ for us. All the staff came out and sang to us a couple of songs that were just beautiful and then we had a huge BBQ feast. It was defiantly a fun day and night!