Today it was HOT. The mercury rose to 40 degrees C. It has been in the mid to high thirties and we’ve coped but today – phew – really hot!
Our morning began late as we’d decided today would be a rest day. We told the kids to wake us when they were ready to rise and shine. “Yes!” said Shannon “That will be well after 9 o’clock!”
“I’ll get up at about 8 and have a morning swim then come and wake you.” said Simon.
So what a surprise when I heard the caravan door open around 6 ish. Simon had come to get his towel and he and Shan went off for a swim. They returned at 7 and went to get boiling water from the communal kitchen to make us coffee. To say we were impressed would be an understatement! Well – they’re rural kids so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised!
We did take it slowly today. We set off just before 8, popped into Lake Panic which was very quiet and then went for a walk at The Nursery which was lovely.
We returned to Camp at ten and Grandpa cooked us a scrumptious breakfast. We spent the rest of the morning chilling in camp – swimming, editing photographs, checking Facebook etc. Grandpa and I had a nap and when we woke up we gave the kids lunch and then went for a yet another swim. We were ready to go out for a game drive just before three.
Unless we’re in the pool or the air conditioned caravan it is actually cooler driving in the car. In the heat of the day, though, animal sightings can be slow. What one does see is creatures crowded under the shadiest trees they can find, wallowing in waterholes or lying asleep in the shade of overhanging rocks or trees.
Shannon’s favourite buck is the Kudu. We always have to stop to take photo of these magnificent creatures. She loves the antlers of the males and the pretty faces of the females.
In the times when sightings are thin, I read interesting facts about the animals out loud to the kids. Shannon remembered that Kudu do not run straight away when they sense or see a predator. They stop and look at him and only run when he starts to chase. Usually a predator gives up if he has been spotted by his prey.
When we saw two females cross in front of us we once again had to stop for Shannon’s pleasure. On the other side of the road they stood stock still and stared into the bush. “They must have seen or smelled a predator,” said Shan excitedly.
“Let’s wait a few minutes to see what happens,” I insisted when Grandpa wanted to move on.
We watched as the kudu looked this way and that and just didn’t move at all. Then Grandpa started to move the car. “Stop!” said Simon ” I see something. It might be a dead animal!’
But it wasn’t.
Fast asleep and oblivious of kudu or humans
The buck could smell the lioness but had no idea where she was and we wouldn’t have either had we not read the signs that something was there somewhere. Shannon said – It’s a group effort – Grandpa’s driving skills – Not knocking the kudu over and killing our chances of seeing the lion. Gran insisting that we wait to see what the kudu had sensed. And Simon’s Eagle Eyes for spotting the sleeping lion!
We were the first ones to see this sleeping beauty and what a traffic jam we caused and so much pointing out to where the well camouflaged creature lay. We left them all and went off chuckling that a lazy lion could cause so much interest.
We continued to enjoy our sightings.
Nyala female with baby
Blond Tawny Eagle on a nest
As we were travelling along we suddenly came upon some elephants with babies. There was a car ahead of us and she was standing still. A large mother and baby were blocking the way and soon others joined them. For twenty minutes the elephants simply stood about not allowing anybody to pass.
Elephant Road Block
What were they thinking? Ha – let’s have some fun with the tourists!
Then they started walking slowly and calmly along the road toward the cars. Everybody simple reversed not daring to try to pass by them.
But after scaring us all silly they slipped onto the side of the road and ambled off into the bush. Ha Ha – elephants. Very funny!
After enjoying some baboons, monkeys, giraffe and birds we returned to camp along the road where we’d seen the sleeping lion. Sure enough there were a number of cars parked at the spot and when we got there we saw that ‘our’ lion had moved to another spot but was still fast asleep.
We had a perfect view of her and I said – Let’s wait five minutes. She might wake up. And she did.
Is nap time over?
What are you all staring at?
It was almost gate closing time so we left our beauty to get over her sleepiness and headed back to camp. What a stunning rest day we had!