“Travelling forces you to trust strangers and lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends…Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky.”
– Cesare Pavase
Travel to a foreign country is a giant leap of faith. You may think you know what to expect, what has been planned. Even so, the very air you breathe feels different. The smells are not like home. You trust that people are good and honest and will set you on the right path. If you keep an open mind, it’s hard to go wrong.
We arrived at Zulu Nyala late at night. It was very dark and hard to get our bearings. There were animal sounds, but not many people around. I remember thinking, I am definitely out of my comfort zone. Sleep did not come easily.
But as usual, everything looks better by the light of day.
Our guide was there to pick us up bright and early and get this safari started…
This is what we saw the first day…
Most days we took two game drives, early in the morning and late afternoon. Though the reserve is fairly small, it never got dull. Even a small herd of impala crossing in front of the jeep was exciting.
We stayed at Zulu Nyala for five days. One day we took an excursion to another private game reserve nearby. It was spectacular!
Loads of rhino but none of the lions or elephants we had been hoping to see.
So two days later, when Bob and The Bonus Baby took a side trip to the Indian Ocean, I went back to Phinda with a group from our lodge.
A small herd of elephants was spotted almost right away.
We spent hours driving through the bush in search of lions, even after sunset. It seems that no matter where we turned, we had just missed them. The guides from the 3 jeeps were frantically radioing each other with possible sightings. Driving off road, with nothing but a small search light, I once again had to put my complete trust in a stranger. I had to assume that he was not going to let us be attacked by carnivores or get lost in the seemingly endless bush. I held my breath and hoped for the best.
It was getting late and it seemed like the guides were reluctantly thinking about to heading back to camp. Then there she was…a beautiful lioness and her cubs, walking single file. I wish I had a National Geographic caliber photo to show you here, but I don’t. I do have this…
The lioness led her cubs to a freshly killed wildebeest. They ate happily for a few minutes, then two large males showed up, wanting a share. We sat and watched the drama and feast (from the safety of our jeep) for almost an hour. It was hard to even grasp what we were seeing right in front of us, only 50 feet away. The animals paid no mind to the vehicles at all (that was a relief!).
Posting these pictures and writing this post is like reliving the whole experience. It’s wonderful! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share.
Tomorrow we go to Cape Town. I hope you’ll come along.