Mon 11-Dec-07 / Sat 15-Dec-07
What can I say - Fantastic! This was our first safari and I guess everyone must feel something similar. Just amazing to be so close to the real thing, wild animals in their natural habitat. No cages, no bars. Talk about up close and personal!
As mentioned before we went for a top class accommodation throughout this trip. We went for a small lodge: Makanyane. We got our own chalet and this was our view from the bedroom window. We were woken one morning by a loud grunting which turned out to be hippos in that stream right outside our chalet.
The routine was two game drives a day, one at 5:30am and one at 4:00pm with lunch back at the lodge. Our excellent guide, David, drove us around Madikwe Game Reserve in an almost indestructible Toyota Land Cruiser in search of animals. Fortunately all the lodges cooperate and radio each other when there is something to see. In the first couple of days we could hardly turn around without bumping into another herd of something.
We would then stop mid-drive for coffee or a sun downer as appropriate:
The first day there were two other guests. The rest of the time we had the whole place and 30 staff to ourselves. The service was immaculate as was the food. One odd feature was that when the menu said "venison" it didn't just mean deer as in the UK It might mean springbok, kudu, blesbok, or any one of a number of other antelopes. It felt a bit like dining at the zoo.
We dined in the restaurant a couple of nights but the staff set up our table for romantic dining the other nights. Once by the (swimming) pool and once on our own chalet veranda. Mind you we had to put covers over our wine glasses to stop giant bugs diving in. They have some big creepy-crawlies in Africa!
I think my favourites animals were the dung beetle and the wart hog :-)
Selected set of photos on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8179454@N02/sets/72157603632532139/
Previous Makanyane posts:
Lion and cubs playing in Madikwe Game Reserve
South African Safari
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