The 3rd day of the safari began a bit chilly. But our guide had again provided us with hot water bottles and fleece parkas. Once we were situated we headed out. Off the bat, we saw more zebras. While we were driving around our guide noticed a pride of lions on the move. Our guide commented that these lions weren’t as healthy as the pride we had seen earlier. To our untrained eyes, it appeared that they had mange. After we watched them for a bit we moved a bit down the trail and saw some giraffes and a herd of wildebeests. The pride of lions must have picked up the scent because they moved into the area and started to look like me at a seafood buffet. Unlike me, they exhibited some patience and watched what they hoped was their next meal. We left the area before they decided it was time to eat. On the way back to the lodge our guide located the reserve’s most famous lion. He had just taken down a warthog and was relaxing after his breakfast.

We called this guy Scar.

Breakfast was again delicious and the time to relax before lunch was welcome. We took advantage of the rest time to relax on our deck and watch the Antelopes that were grazing below. After the antelopes made their way to other parts, we headed to the bar for a quick pre-lunch cocktail (gotta keep the malaria away). After lunch, we went back to our room for a bit, but came early for tea and enjoyed talking to the other guests.

We were happy to get on the trail again and hoped that we’d be able to see the only one of the Big 5 we hadn’t seen yet. But first, we checked on the lion with the fresh kill, he was still guarding his meal, and not overly active. Before we could get bored our guide decided to take us into leopard country. On the way, we saw waterboks, rhinos, and another solo lion with a freshly killed giraffe. The leopard area was a bit more rugged and provided ample hiding spots for the leopards. We eventually saw a leopard hiding in very dense shrubbery.

Leopards are amazing at hiding.

Now that we had officially seen all the big 5 it was time to head back to the lodge for dinner. This night our guide dinned with us. This was truly a great way to the end the safari as our guide opened us to us more about his experience under apartheid and answered our questions on the history of this area of South Africa.

-stay tuned for more.

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