I know I have not been very forthcoming with the details on the Africa trip. That’s partly because I got really sad when I came home. I went from being in the middle of the wilderness, the real wild, to a life where I am basically as removed from nature as physically possible. But I’m ready now.
Here is the booty I found in Africa. I would have bought even more stuff, BUT I had the annoying presence of my HUSBAND and our friends who teased him every time I bought something. Seriously annoying.
The first night we got there we went on a night ride in our open air jeeps and our ranger, Ranger Ben, scared the crap out of us trying to track this girl! You track animals at night by shining a huge spotlight around the area and looking for their eyes. It was about 100 degrees and I was holding the light and scanning for “an animal,” he didn’t tell us which animal. Thousands of bugs were swarming to the light and all of the sudden we saw her! And then, what really scared the crap out of me, were three hyenas that just appeared behind us to try and steal her kill. I never sat in that front seat again.
This is the Mountain Pride. A famous pride of lionesses that haunt the area around Singita Lebombo. Singita has a huge concession of land in Kruger Park on the border of Mozambique. Its serious lion country up there, and the lodges are NOT FENCED IN! You need to be accompanied by a guide when you walk to your rooms at night! This pride is currently at 7 female members but it often joins with the 3 other prides in the area and forms a pride 28 lions strong. We saw these females walking, stalking, sleeping and eating. We got within 10 feet of them and we could smell them as they strode past us into the sunset. They caught the scent of wildebeest and the promise of water lingered in the distance so they walked in a line, each about 10 paces back, with steadfast determination. I can tell why they call it a pride.
A DAZZLE of zebra. Herds of wildebeest, zebra, impala and water buck were everywhere. If you are trying to imagine what an African safari is, imagine this: it is pretty much like the Lion King. Lions and Hyenas are mortal enemies. The rest of the animals exist in a strange harmony. There are eagles, hornbills, warthogs, jackals, african dogs, a variety of antelope, baboons, hippos, alligators all living within feet of each other.
While I was there, and everyone else was sleeping, Ranger Ben took me on a “Dangerous Game Approach” which is basically, an on foot hike through the African Bush. What a different perspective. Loosing the safety of the Jeep makes you feel so small and vulnerable. Do you see how the grasses were strawy and dry? They had yet to receive their summer rains and I kept imagining that Mountain Pride stalking and hunting me!!! I was so scared that I asked the Ranger “If lions attack me, please shoot me so that they dont just eat me while I am alive!” “Dont worry,” he replied, “If lions attacked you, you would probably have a heart attach and die instantly.” Thanks. Thats comforting.
All in all, the Singita experience is the ultimate luxury: private chef, sommelier, servants, only 15 lodges in the hotel, your own waiter for the entire trip, everyone knows you by name, plus it is gorgeous! It is, however, pretty grueling. We woke up at 5 am every day to safari for 4 hours. You then return home in the blazing heat at 9 am, have breakfast, take a nap and relax by the pool. By 5 pm you are back in the bush for a night drive. Return home around 8 30 and then shower and have dinner…You cant imagine how tiring it is!
What a trip! I would be happy to tell you guys more. If you are interested let me know!