Monday, July 4, 2016

South African Lodge, Days 7-10

We spent the rest of our time at a hunting lodge in the Lephalale region in the northern part of South Africa. We were in tents with one amenity I really appreciated - electric blankets for chilly nights. However, the outdoor shower was NOT appreciated since it got down into the 50s when the sun went down, so I was a reluctant bather. 

The girls were assigned a tent within the inner fence, while the husband and I had a tent outside of the fence. The same area where wild critters can roam. Every night I'd brandish my little flashlight in search of the beady eyes of the resident rhino, Bucks. He wasn't a bad sort, just big and scary. And territorial about his food when he forced a standoff and we all quickly backed down when we realised he thought we posed some threat to the alfalfa they throw out for him every couple days. 

While at the lodge for the hunters in our group to do their thing, we went for a cruise on the Limpopo River, took a game drive in the Shelanti Animal Reserve, and just enjoyed relaxing in the lovely common areas of the lodge. The weenie dog Milo was a favourite. I was a fan until the overconfident little brat raced out to bark at and dance around the dangerous feet of the rhino. Good grief, it was tense and I kept waiting to hear the crunch of Milo underfoot. The kids were shouting for Milo to back off, and he finally did. 

I didn't film Milo aggravating the rhino because I was using my hands to cover up my eyes, but I did catch the rhino running some wildebeests away from his alfalfa earlier in the day. He was a big guy, but pretty swift on his feet as he whips around.

All of the other animals that had gathered for some grub gave Bucks the rhino a wide berth when he wanted it. As always, the warthogs made me giggle, rushing around with their tails straight up in the air like antennas.

Below is a pic of most of our safari group. Per the usual, it was a small world. We traveled thousands of miles from our homes in England and Texas to run across two other families, one from Dallas and the other San Antonio, staying at the same lodge. 

Pretty flowers, but get a load of those thorns.

Milo, the lodge's resident weenie dog, challenged a sable the day before it took on the rhino. The sable was not impressed.

The warthogs, kneeling to eat, were comical. They'd swivel around on their knees in search of food on the ground. 

Thank heavens the fire ants back home in Texas don't have the same mound construction abilities as the termites in Africa!

Best part of returning to South Africa - no mosquitos! The weather was just perfect, blue skies and mild temps the entire time. Late one evening, we walked over to see what critters might have wandered up to the area where they put out food and we saw a large meteor shoot across a big expanse of the sky before it burned out. 

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