No 4 am wake up today, instead a leisurely 7am brekky. Our adventures for the day? First stop the Zulu Croc Centre. Here we were met by Lawrence, an amazingly happy and inspiring Zulu man who works at the croc centre. Here as you can imagine, there are a lot of crocodiles…various African species but also a variety of snakes; ones that you could potentially come across here in Africa. The aim of this centre is to educate tourists and also local people of the dangers and methods of keeping yourself safe if you encountered them and also giving people the experience of seeing these creatures close up! We were taken around the park and shown the various species, as well as watching a demonstration and being given the opportunity to see, and even handle some of the snakes in residence!
After the presentation it was time for the volunteers to do a little work! We were to wash the windows of the snakes huge enclosures…the outside where tourists touched…but also the inside…eek! There were some worried looking faces as people volunteered themselves for the task. With a very watchful eye (and a big stick in hand from the handler) I’ve never seen windows washed so fast in my life! They’ve never been cleaner 🙂
Once we were done with the snake enclosures we went to visit the crocs for last time and actually got the opportunity to get up close and see them. They had been fed the day before and were in what we call a “food coma”. It was pretty incredible!
So that was half the day! What were we going to do with the other half? Why, a Game Park drive of course! We went to the Hluhluwe game park which is approx. 97 thousand hectares and contains all the big 5…elephants, rhinos, buffalo, leopards and lions. Today we had to opportunity to see three of these 5 up close from our safari vehicle! We stumbled upon the massive African elephant, just munching grass by the side of the road, not having a care in the world. We also saw on two separate occasions, rhinos with their babies…one of these being only one month old! To say we were in awe is an understatement! Throughout the drive we also saw wild giraffes, zebras, baboons, crocodiles and all other forms of wild African animals you can think of (except unfortunately the lions and leopards, as they are primarily seen at night) If the animals weren’t enough, the landscape was sure the cherry on top of the already iced cake and we all rugged up with blankets in the car as we headed back to camp. An amazing day indeed.
Tomorrow it’s back to rolling up the sleeves and getting dirty here on our buffalo game reserve 🙂