Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shamwari Game Reserve

Today's route: Rest day at Shamwari Game Reserve

Shamwari is the largest private game reserve in the eastern Cape, covering a huge amount of land and home to all the big species of animals and birdsin South Africa. Like all game parks here, the animals are self sustaining - eat or be eaten.

Our group has been split amongst the lodges, so we have not seen the others in a day or so.

As it was overcast and had raine3d a fair amount overnight, we did not go out at 5.30 am as expected, but rather after breakfast around 9 am. It was an incredible morning.

First up we came upon a large herd of elephant - everything from large bulls to baby's just a few months old. They were very comfortable with our presence, at times passing within a foot of the land rover. Once a young male walked straight up and stared into our vehicle - straight at Bill. They are always a majestic sight.

As we were leaving the area, we were called back as another landrover had a flat tire and needed our jack.

Following this, we found a small pride of lion - the male was intent on mating but the femalw was having none of that. We watched the lion for a while before moving on again.

Aside from the usual sprinkbok, impala, kudu we found a good sized herd of giraffe - always fun to see.

Finally, cheetah. Three all quite relaxed - so much so that we were able to leave the landrover and walk to within 30 feet of the, Awesome.

Lunch, after we returned to the lodge, was fine. Excellent food but we finished late - around 3pm - then they ushered us over for tea and cake! Skipped that.

The afternoon game drive began well - lion, warthog and then two rare black rhino. Then the rain started again, heavy and cold. We stuck it out for a while then headed back for a warm shower. Dinner was an indoor braai (boerewors, pap, steak etc) and then tomorrow after the norning game drive we head fpr Port Elizabeth

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