Arathusa Lodge Safari Drive # 2

Lions young male trying to look fierce

The morning safari drive starts just before sunrise, so our morning started with a wake-up call from the on duty Ranger at 05:20. While getting ready we heard sounds nearby from an obviously large animal and since we have a 250 to 300 yard walk to the lounge through the bush we called for an escort. The Ranger came to check it out and advised all was clear, it was only hippos in the water. He’s probably thinking, huh city folk. We reached the lounge without incident, or animal sighting and enjoyed a quick cuppa before heading to the vehicle.We set off from the lodge about 06:00, eagerly anticipating a repeat of yesterday with almost immediate sightings, but alas, it was not to be this morning. They must have been sleeping in on the weekend, as a White Rhino was our first sighting at 06:40. We just caught him in the middle of a small clearing, a little distance from the road.

White Rhino

White Rhino

After watching the Rhino for a few minutes, Cedric decided to head back to see how much progress the lions had made with the Giraffe. We arrived at the Lions about 07:00, so while we spent an hour with only 1 animal sighting, it was still an excellent morning, as the driving through the bush is fun.

I am placing the photographs of the lions eating in a slideshow, so if these are of interest please click to view.

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Here are a few of the additional photographs I took, and with the 70-200 lens doubled, some came out rather well.

Lions young male trying to look fierce

Lions young male trying to look fierce

 

Lion close up

Lion close up

Young male lion with mane starting to develop

Young male lion with mane starting to develop

Another one of the 3 young males

Another one of the 3 young males

Lion head close-up

Lion head close-up

Excellent detail on this close-up

Excellent detail on this close-up of a young male

Female with very full tummy

Female with very full tummy

After about 20 minutes of watching the lions, we headed off again in search of other elusive animals. Cedric headed for a waterhole and as we arrived we noticed the nose of a Hippo sticking above the water. However, as we stopped the Hippo took exception and promptly departed, so this is the only hippo photo.

Hippo leaving the water immediately after we arrived

Hippo leaving the water immediately after we arrived

After about another 20 minutes we spotted a single Giraffe in the bush.

Giraffe walking through the bush

Giraffe walking through the bush

Cedric then headed to a clearing where we stopped while he and Derek set up the table and made tea and coffee, which is served with a few treats. A very pleasant location to enjoy a cup of tea and biscuit. Suitably refreshed, we climbed back on board and started the trip back to the lodge, and for the following animal sightings.

Zebra head close-up

Zebra head close-up

Zebra grazing by the side of the road

Zebra grazing by the side of the road

Zebra close up

Zebra close up

Zebra head close up

Zebra head close up

Impala female eating tall grass

Impala female eating tall grass

Warthog

Warthog

Returning to the lodge via the rear entrance, around the lake, we were welcomed by the sight of many Elephants and Water Buck. The Elephant herd was huge and included some really small babies.

Elephant herd has 2 tiny babies

Elephant herd has 2 tiny babies

Elephant baby snuggling up to mum

Elephant baby snuggling up to mum

Elephants, young ones of various ages

Elephants, young ones of various ages

Young elephant just out of the water

Young elephant just out of the water

Young Elephant moving the trunk

Young Elephant moving the trunk

Elephants adults, juveniles and baby

Elephants adults, juveniles and baby

Elephant baby coming back out to check out the world

Elephant baby coming back out to check out the world

Next we saw a couple of female Waterbuck and about 5 males. One of the males was paying very close attention to a female while the others were fighting him for the alpha male position.

Waterbuck male checking out the female

Waterbuck male checking out the female

Waterbuck female and baby

Waterbuck female and baby

Then it was back to the Lodge for a welcome hot towel to wash off the dust and a hearty breakfast.

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