Thursday, 26 November 2009

Epic on holiday

We just completed another successful Kruger Park and Cape Town safari with a mixture of overseas clients.

This time Alfie was joined by me (Sabine) and our 5-years old son Joshua, junior tour guide. Oh dear, do we see you groan and look up to the Heavens?

He is fortunately very well behaved (I am proud to say :), so there was no cause for any disturbance to the clients. Joshua has now made some amazing ‘overseas adult’ friends. Thank you Gary & Marion for the amazing ‘cowboy-hat’ and all your kind playfulness with Josh (Josh showed his prized hat off in school); thank you Rob for being the ‘big brother’; thank you HRH Andrew (HRH – His Royal Highness) for allowing us ‘an audience’; thank you Mary & David for your ever present smiles and teaching us some sign language (David - thank you for enjoying Alfie & Mika’s food and cleaning the pots out) and thank you Tina for being our special senior friend.

Josh, cheetah cubs & Gary ...................... Andrew, cheetah cub & Mary

Our chosen game reserve turned out to be a huge highlight for all – as the 3 young Cheetah cubs with their mother Savannah kept everyone very entertained. For a small boy this was the height of adventure and thrills, while he ran around pulling a string with a plastic bottle filled with small pebbles around their enclosure (watched closely by the guide/rangers!) and the ‘grownups’ were enthralled. Rob and myself also gave it a try. My heart started to race faster when I saw the 3 cheetah cubs (half the size of a fully grown cheetah, but double the size of a normal house cat) running towards me and stopping just before my feet, happy to play with the bottle.

And to top is all off, Sahara the caracal gave Josh a loving kiss & hug.

Lion 'cubs' with Gary & Marion..........Alfie, Josh & Sabine with cubs

The 2 lions cubs we were walking with (which are already the size of fully grown lions) were eyeing Josh out and he had to stay on top of his dad’s shoulders. The lions even took an interest in 3 rhinos at the waterhole, but then wisely decided that they were outnumbered!

Group with Rhinos & lion in background....Mary with Jessica the hippo

Jessica the hippo greeted us again with her wonderful smile and was happy to receive our food and rooibos tea. She is such a wonderful experience and delight to everybody.

On one of the Game Drives we saw a female lion with her 5 cubs and a little while later we followed a big male lion to join his family after a day out in the bush. The cubs where very happy to see him and one even tackled him.

Kruger National Park brought its share of unusual weather, as is world wide, due to ‘climate change’. The first 2 days were scorchers where we caught up with our suntan and the rest of the days were comfortably cool with slight drizzling along the way.

Some of the special sightings this month were +15 hyenas eagerly ‘begging and laughing’ at 2 male lions feeding on a Zebra, with the rest of the lion pride (+6 lions) resting their full bellies in the shadow of the trees.

Lots of elephants with small calves feeding happily on the green bushes, white rhino, big herds of buffaloes, leopard, giraffes, zebras, impalas, banded Mongoose, Crocodiles, Hippos, Vervet Monkeys and plentiful bird-life

Everybody is home safely and I have added some of their comments below.

We had a great time :)

Sabine, Alfie & Josh