Arathusa Lodge Safari Drive # 5

Zebra herd at the edge of the airstripHeading to the Lounge area for the pre-safari afternoon tea, we spotted a couple of female Waterbuck grazing at the edge of the path, just outside our cabin. We stopped and thankfully they turned around, retreating into the bush. Continuing towards the lounge area, we had only taken a few steps when we spotted a large male Waterbuck walking along the path towards us. Oh! did I mention he had huge horns and he stopped in his tracks, watching us intently. Definitely time to practice discretion or valour, so we beat a hasty retreat to the cabin and phoned the desk. We were advised, if it was a Waterbuck it would walk away without bothering us, but if it was a Buffalo stay inside and they would send a Ranger. Fairly comfortable that it was Waterbuck, we again ventured outside, following the path to the lounge. We spotted him about 5 or 6 feet off the path and he watched us as we walked passed. Now that’s what I call getting up close and personal with wild life, but wait, read on for our even closer encounter with a big cat. Continue reading

Arathusa Lodge Safari Drive # 4

Elephant juvenile male in a staring contest with our Ranger trying to get us to moveThis morning started with the customary 05:30 wake-up call from the on-duty Ranger. Once dressed we headed out for the 250 to 300 yard walk along the path to the lounge area. It isn’t too bad during the day, but in the dark of night, we never felt overly comfortable, although we know we could always phone for a Ranger for an escort. A quick cup of Ceylon Tea and we were off to climb aboard the vehicle. Continue reading

Arathusa Lodge Safari Drive # 3

Shadow, the female Leopard in clearing with close up on face

Shadow, the female Leopard in clearing with close up on face

Between breakfast and lunch I spent a few hours back at the cabin working on the photographs I had taken on the first two drives. Then, we have a short break after lunch before returning to the trough for afternoon tea. A quick cuppa is the perfect prelude to our afternoon safari. Cedric’s group has now grown to 6, with new arrivals Kim and Samantha, a couple of very nice young ladies, who are having a girls weekend break from husbands and kids. Continue reading

Transit to Sabi Sands and Safari Drive # 1

Leopard male cub about 9 months old just outside the resortOur tour guide from the winelands tour yesterday collected us at the hotel and drove us to Cape Town Airport for our 2.5 hr flight to Hoedspruit. Wow, after flying A380’s, 747’s and 777’s we got a shock when walking out of the terminal building, as the plane was a turbo-prop and the overhead lockers were tiny. Fortunately the cabin crew were brilliant and stowed the bag that didn’t fit in one of the empty seats. The flight was actually rather pleasant with the cabin crew serving a light lunch, water and a couple of rounds of drinks. On arrival the airport it is an old military base with a single room terminal that only opens for the couple of daily flights. Our guide met us at the building and off we headed for the 2 hr drive to Arathusa Lodge, with animal sighting starting almost immediately.

Note – While we did not wish to observe any lion/leopard kills, I have included photographs of the Lions gorging on Giraffe, which may not suit all readers. Continue reading