Day 18 Londolozi – South Africa day 4
Up around five this morning. Robbie popped by at 5:30am with some coffee and biscuits. Off for this mornings game drive at 6am. Before we set out Jules came strolling up to the Land Rover with his gun out. He had it with him for protection, or simply to look awesome. Either way this became the opportunity we needed to get some pics of him with his gun out. He said he is camera shy, but then struck quite the pose and smile. Jules lies a lot. This morning it was us and the other couple from LA. Jerry was feeling much better after a nights sleep. This morning felt extremely eventful and the animals all seemed a bit more rammy and eager to do us harm or at least let us know whose house we are in. We saw our first gathering of giraffes. We have seen single giraffes a couple times, but never a group. Giraffes seemed to be one of the more skittish and camera shy animals. Most of the animals don’t give a care that we are in their business, watching, or taking pics. A few definitely flee the scene when they notice us approaching. The giraffes this morning hung around long enough to get some great shots, maybe some of my favorite shots of the trip. Of course who knows what they look like once I get them on a screen bigger than two inches. We saw several large groups of elephants today. These are the guys that were most rammy with us. They kept inching their way closer to us and Jules had to keep moving the Land Rover. Several times one showed aggression and screamed at us. Between instances of getting punked down by elephants we watched a couple younger elephants playing and/or fighting. They were tusk and trunk fighting. It was amazing to watch these giant beasts be so aggressive and gentle at the same time. When we finally left one of the large groups of elephants they actually chased us away, as if doing that “hold me back” thing that drunk guys do at parties.
Londolozi never stops being amazing and full of surprises. Yet another surreal surprise today. Around 9am I noticed that we had not yet stopped for our coffee break. Jules and Eckson usually stop after a couple hours to have a drink, coffee, tea, whatever and some cookies and muffins. Next thing I know we crest a hill and see some people off in the distance. I assumed it was another rover of people and we were going to a site with something to see. Turns out it was Kirsty and a couple of the chefs with an entire breakfast set up outside and ready. Breakfast was in the middle of the bush under the shade of a giant tree. They had a full breakfast, fresh and waiting for us. It was completely unexpected and mind blowing. It was the most amazing setting for a meal anywhere. We were in the middle of the bush with giraffes off in the distance as part of the landscape scenery. They may have been wondering whether to come steal our eggs. Londolozi creates realities that make my dreams look boring.
After breakfast another surprise…. we are walking back to camp. Yeah, walking. It was a fairly uneventful stroll. We saw a few animals, but mainly learned about a lot of the growth, tracks, and the landscapes. We ate some leaves that made our mouth numb. I can’t get over this place. Everyday here has been something completely unimaginable and fantastic. We think they must have blown their wad on us by now. The rest of our days will have to be just standard safari days, which are still the greatest days we know.
When we walked back into our room at camp there was a lizard sleeping on my charging iPad, that doesn’t seem quite right. Another afternoon nap. I seem unable to fend them off. Today is another day it warmed up significantly after a nice crisp morning air. We saw our first wild boar tonight at the beginning of the evening drive. Not for too long. He was covered in mud and took off running almost immediately. It was a sighting nonetheless. We saw the male leopard, Camp Pan, sleeping again tonight. So far we have seen leopards a couple times but always sleeping. Hopefully we will see them up and about before we leave. Saw a ton more elephants again tonight. After the impalas, elephants are the animals we have seen the most off. Nothing compares to the number of impalas. They call them jungle fast food. We also saw a big heard of elephants after sun down. In the pitch black there were elephants within a couple feet of our truck. They could have eaten us if they chose, and if they were not vegetarians.
The driving that Jules does in the Land Rover is mind-boggling. We have been truly off road a few times, but nothing like tonight. He was running over top and mowing down trees that were as big around as my leg. Definitely trees that a vehicle should not roll over top. Maybe a Sherman tank. I don’t think there is any chance I could ever go to a zoo again in my life. When we got back we ended up having yet another private dinner. The other couple had there special in-room dinner tonight, which left only Wifey and I on the deck of the lodge. They had the lanterns and candles out for a gorgeous atmosphere. Kirsty and Jabulani are the best. The only thing that interrupted our dinner were elephants, of course. Giraffes at breakfast, elephants at dinner. Who could ask for anything more?
A select few pics here.