BIG 4 BONANZA !!

SHJOOO !! What a day we had today !! After such an amazing nights sleep last night in our very luxurious beds after a delicious 3 course meal we are woken bright and early at 6am by one of our porters to give us a morning call .

It was a nice overcast day today meaning it won’t be so hot during our walk which makes it a little bit more pleasurable although some rain is forecast for later in the day . We have a spot of breakfast to perk us up and give us some energy for the start of our day , pick up our lunch as we will be eating out in the bush , meet up with our guide Pieter and head out into the reserve .

We decided to head out over the hill above the camp and go an explore that side of the reserve and boy we definitely wouldn’t regret it ! As we begin to descend on the other side of the hill we see some female Nyalas and some other small game but as we take a small game track along the side of the hill heading in a Southerly direction Pieter spots something on the far side of the next hill ….

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LIONS ! They were a fair distance away though and we could only really see them through binoculars but it was still nice to know that they are still in the area and we would have a chance of seeing them later on in the day .

As we continue along the same track we descended a little into the thicket as we try and reach the gully or drainage system at the bottom but we could hear some rustling in the bushes , trying to loop round the thicket to see what it was we catch a glimpse of a White Rhino cow and her calf running off towards the hill the Lions were on .. the wind was behind us at this time so they caught our smell and had obviously got startled and fled .

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We tried to walk back around so we had the wind behind us but they were long gone by this point .. in the distance to our right we had also caught sight of a herd of Buffalo on the other side of the main road but this was the first time we had seen the Rhinos and decided to track them  !! 3 of the Big 5 within the first 30 minutes of our walk .. this really has been a lucky start to our adventure !

Tracking the Rhinos was pretty difficult as they love going through the thickets of the bush to start hidden from predators and poachers but we had the master by our side .. Pieter ! It must have been after about another 30 minutes of tracking them it seemed they had also ventured off towards the side of the Buffalos so we left them for a short while to go and spent some time with the Buffalo .

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Reaching the Buffalo they seemed pretty chilled and we made sure we kept some distance between us and them as there were approx 40 of them in the herd and you don’t want to mess with 1 Buffalo let alone 40 of them lol ! We stood and watched them grazing for a while before continuing on our way .

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Then we caught sight of the Rhino tracks again and knew they weren’t far away so we picked up the trail and began to follow … quietly tip toeing through the bush Pieter walks on ahead slightly and on the other side of the drainage system sees both cow and calf lying there catching some zzz’s and gestures to us to sneakily walk up to him and come and watch . WOW what an incredible sight knowing we were only about 30 metres away from these magnificent creatures while being on foot was out of this world !

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We sat and watched for a short while before mother got a little bit freaked and decided to head off once more with her young calf to keep them safe .. this time we thought we would leave them be and continue on our way to see what else the day would bring us … 

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There is a large drought here at the minute around this whole area and it seems a lot of the wildlife has moved closer to watering holes so we didn’t really see much else but learnt a lot about some of the trees that inhabit this area which was really interesting . It was fast approaching lunch time so we found a nice little spot to have our bush picnic and a quick little nap to rest our legs for a while before carrying on .

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Along the way we spot some male Nyala , female Kudu , some Impala on the far side of the hill , a Common Duiker and plenty of birdlife .. some of them have such beautifully coloured markings . Time was getting on so the decision was made to take a slightly shorter trip home to go and try and find the Lions as we had heard they were still hanging around the camp area after having been on an Nyala kill !

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Crossing the road and reaching the last hill climb before our camp our eyes are averted to something moving literally just where we had been 20 minutes prior … a herd of ELEPHANTS , approx 18 of them !! We can’t believe we were soo close to being there just minutes earlier but what a sight to see them crossing the plains , we had hoped they might start heading towards camp as we were but they took the path nearing Main Lodge which meant they were heading towards the watering hole .. but man what a sighting .. that now made 4 out of the Big 5 in one day !!!

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Pieter sneakily had an idea … by calling in the Elephant sighting it meant that a lot of the game drives would now head there leaving us in peace to view the Lions if we could find them … nearing the camp we pick up on the tracks and follow …..

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Being careful where to place our feet to be as silent as possible we kept our eyes and ears peeled as they could literally be anywhere in the near vicinity .. in the distance we spot something lying out in the open on the burnt tundra .. can you guess what it was .. ??!!

TIGERS !!! haha no not really , hopefully you all know there are no Tigers in Africa but we had found the LIONS !! .. about 8 of them who were just lying down taking a nap after gorging themselves on what on Nyala a semi sized antelope . Unbelievable to think that we were just stood there watching them from about 40 metres away with no protection whatsoever apart from our guides rifle … soo exhilarating !!

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Unfortunately they didn’t seem to be going anywhere fast or making any movement at all .. pretty much like us last night after a stomach stuffing meal lol so feeling content we headed back towards the lodge to try and find the kill and yet again we succeeded finding what little was left of the remains .. it seems there is no stopping us .. our positive thoughts just keep bringing us good luck . Let’s hope it continues for the rest of the week 

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Upon reaching the lodge it was time for a well deserved shower and feet up session before chowing down on another delightful evening meal with a glass of free wine or water and early to bed as we are all pretty much knackered haha !!

I BET YOU ALL WISH YOU HAD JOINED US NOW HEY !! SWEET DREAMS

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