11 December 2013

5. - 11 Dec.: Lalibela Lodge to Schotia Safari Game Reserve

Funny how these two private game reserves have names coming from different parts of the world, very far from South Africa.

In the morning another early game drive and then an easy move a few km to the west to Schotia Safari Game Reserve . This is a very different type of reserve: not luxury and in fact in part a tented camp. Our tent is quite big and it is raised from the floor by a system of stilts.

Quite a romantic bathroom too: water is heated by wood, and one of the first things I must learn is how to add wood to the furnace just outside the bathroom, next to the shower.

Male elephant
Our ranger for the afternoon drive is Leandi, a petite and seemingly fragile blond girl in her late twenties. (OK Leandi if you are reading this by any chace please don't be upset if I got it wrong, I am always wrong with ladies' age.) Yan asks about the meaning of her name and the answer is quite unique: her mother had six sisters and L.E.A.N.D.I. are the initials of their names. I forgot the sisters' names, but the ethimology stuck in my mind.

Bull chasing jeep

Leandi drives better than I have seen any man drive, especially when shifting our big 12 seater 4x4 into reverse and backing off in the mud from a charging elephant bull in chase. She also knows quite a bit and gives us comprehensive explanations about the fauna and the flora we see.

Dinner buffet by the fire, just next to the croc and hippo pond. Then a night drive during which, with the help of a big halogen light, we see a lone male lion resting in a bush. Can't really see much of him but enough to get some adrenaline pumping.The best sight though is a majestic male kudu who passes nonchalantly by as we drive home.

Male kudu, my fav antilope

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