Today is the third day of our safari experience. It began at the wee hours – since we were woken up by our guide at 5am and left the camp by 5:30am (the car actually started up this time around). I was way too tired to get up so I just got up right before we left without showering or anything, since I know that we’ll be back for breakfast. Surprisingly, it was a great game drive. We had two lion sightings (supposedly it’s best to see them during the mornings because it’s cool and they’re more active). We also saw many elephants and giraffes – no leopards unfortunately. It was also ridiculously cold –especially in the jeep that was open and wind blowing at you while driving. It was also very early so we all fell asleep and woke up when Israel saw something in the park. The only new animal we saw was the ostrich. Pretty cool birds, I must say.
Afterwards, we returned to our camp, where I wrapped up in a blanket since it was so cold until breakfast was ready. Breakfast was once again: beans, museli, yogurt, fruit salad, eggs, cheese, and bread. It was very delicious. After breakfast, we had to pack up because we’re moving out of our camp accommodations to a private lodge for our last night. We’re also leaving the park to get to the private lodge – so up next is our last game drive. So, I took a shower and packed then left for our last game drive – saying goodbye to our cook. During our last game drive, there wasn’t too much unique – we didn’t end up completing our big 5 sightings, as leopards are nowhere to be found. We saw a lot of zebras, elephants (a huge group was crossing the road in front of us at one point with many baby elephants – cute), giraffes, impalas, warthogs, and wildebeests though.
So at the end of all this, we stopped for lunch at Orpen Camp/Gate, where we had our first lunch as well. There was very little selection – so I got a chili dog, ice cream, juice, and a bag of chips – there wasn’t any healthy options. Afterwards, we headed out of the park towards our private lodge in a private reserve.
The lodge was probably an hour away – but it was BEAUTIFUL! In this private reserve, there were surprisingly giraffes and zebras around. It had a pool and the rooms were easily the nicest we’ve been in for three months. The washroom was large and beautiful. It had a nice swimming pool in the center of all the rooms. We took a dip in the water from 4:30 to about 6. Then we went back to our rooms for a shower and had dinner after. We were called for dinner with drums. We ate in a little pit with a small fire in the center. We all gathered around with tables in a semicircle formation– and had a nice feast at the front. We were talking to the other people at the lodge – four of them were Canadians – others European. The food was great – it consisted of: Potato salad, chickpeas salad, nsima + relish, chicken kebabs, pork kebabs, corn and a coconut cake. After the wonderful dinner, we retreated to our rooms, watched Gossip Girl – and started writing this blog – and now it’s 10:30pm and I have to sleep since I need to wake up by 5:15am. We would be going out for a bush walk early tomorrow morning and then return for breakfast – then head back to Johannesburg. Hopefully, we would get to see the world cup stadium or something like that –if not, I’m sure we would at least get some wonderful food. Overall, the game drives for this safari is very satisfying. Though we didn’t see all five Big 5 animals, this was a great introduction to game viewing – highly recommended if you want to have a comfortable glimpse at animals. It may not be as densely populated as other parks – but it is the biggest park in Africa –and the infrastructure is incomparable as I’ve heard. Technically, all the Big 5 animals are there though – you just need to search for them.