I honestly don’t know how this has happened, but every day seems to get better than the last. It is blowing our minds. The things we’ve been able to do and witness is uncanny and we have been so lucky to have experienced it all this week! It was our last day in the reserve today, and boy did we go out with a bang. I feel like all of us are best friends already. Thank goodness we have a whole other week together.
So we ate our cold breakfast this morning with cheery faces. I think we’re all getting used to the early mornings. It’s now pleasant waking up with the sun I’d say! We have so much time in the day, which means we have so many opportunities to do everything we want!
Group B went out to collect snare traps right away. If you don’t know what snares are, they are a metal rope tied in a way that hooks onto a low tree and then hangs in a circular shape. What happens is that animals walk through the circle because they can’t see it and it traps their head within. They immediately feel threatened and react by thrashing around to get it off. However, that causes the trap to tighten and it ends up strangling them to death. Locals who are living in the village and break into the fences to find food for their families make these traps. However, the animals belong to the reserve and the animals are suffering from these snares so it’s important that we find them and dispose of them properly. During their sweep today, they luckily didn’t find any snares but what they did find blew their socks off. They were walking along, minding their own business when two black rhinos appeared in the brush. They had to quickly get to some trees to hide, but fortunately the rhinos walked off unbothered. They definitely were not expecting that whatsoever. On their way home, they also encountered four white rhinos that walked directly in front of their truck. That’s six rhinos in one day! They were so sad not seeing them the other day, and look at them now. They’re seeing rhinos all over the place!!
We had a long break today for lunch and activities and ended up playing many many rounds of our favorite group game. It passes the time so well and is extremely entertaining! After lunch, we each gathered around a computer screen to check out some camera trap pictures. There were hyenas, many leopards, rhinos, porcupines, aardvarks, mongoose and all kinds of things! It was neat to see them up close on a picture and since most are nocturnal animals, we never get to see them! That is, unless we want to do a night drive at two in the morning… I don’t think so!
We split up one last time and switched our jobs once again. Group A got to trek out in the bush looking for snares this time. They had a great time, and didn’t find any. That is such a good sign! That means there are none in that area!
Group B was pumped to get back to chopping, but an opportunity presented itself to us as we were leaving. We heard that an nyala had been killed by a snare and that they were going to feed the carcass to the wild dogs. We asked if we could go along when they did it and we got the go ahead!! We chopped for a little while and made an equally as impressive pile and then happily piled into a vehicle to take us out there. We drove down near where their den was and there were three of them just hanging out in the middle of the road. It was the alpha male, the alpha female and the male’s brother. We couldn’t believe all three were out right in front of us! The carcass was tied to the back of a truck and they were dragging it along as bait. It didn’t take long for the dogs to chase after it, but once they did, it happened so fast. They tore into the animal and devoured the thing. We were enthralled watching them dig into their meal. We felt like we were in the middle of a Planet Earth episode or something. Like I mentioned, these dogs are rare enough to see, but also being able to see them attack a meal is unheard of. Once finished, the female sauntered to the water and then disappeared to take care of her pups. We were on cloud nine to say the least.
We then drove up to a lookout point and caught the sunset about two minutes before it set. It was the most perfect moment to finish the day on. I know that’s a common phrase I use, but it is too true. Everyday seems to wrap itself up with the most beautiful sunsets. It’s as though the day is being tied in a pretty pink and sparkly bow.
Nobody wants to leave tomorrow. We’re all so sad to say goodbye to the friends we’ve made here and the out-of-this-world sights we’ve seen. We all sense how hard tomorrow is going to be for us to say goodbye. Tonight was another delicious meal and a fireside hangout. We so appreciate the time we’ve had here and know it’s going to stay in our memories forever. All I have to say is… We start a whole new adventure tomorrow when we drive through a big 5 game reserve and then head to St. Lucia. We are so happy!! It’s unreal!!
As always, until tomorrow!