Monday, September 1, 2008

The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve

Yesterday we went to the Rhino and Lion park, about 20 minute drive from our house. That is when you can find it immediately. I got lost and found myself stuck in a dead end road, with on the side a township. So I wanted to get out of there immediately since I was alone with the girls and there were a lot of men walking around, looking at me and my car, knowing I didn't belong there!!
The game reserve is a huge park (1200 hectares) with white rhino's, lions, wild dogs, cheetahs, steenbucks, springbucks, hippos, jackals, suricates, wartogs, waterbucks, zebras, foxes, buffalos, genets, pigmy hippos, nile crocodiles, white, siberian and bengal tigers, white lions, blue & black wildebeests, elands, impalas, blesbucks, sable antelopes, servals, gemsboks, mongooses, squirrels, red hartebeests, mountain reedbuck, brown & spotted hyeanas, roans, ostrichs, vultures, flamingos and some 20-25 other bird species roaming and flying around in this huge park which you have to drive through.

They have a playground with braai areas, a lot of grills and tables set up where you can park your car and just enjoy the day in the bushveld with your own food and drinks. So that was our plan with 3 other families and their children.





However, just when we almost finished our food, meat still on the braai, suddenly a wild fire started on the other side of the fence from the park. And we were looking and watching it.....mind you, we haven't had rain for the last 2 months! and it was windy...so suddenly the fire was really close to our braai areas, and some rangers from the park started running around and evacuating people out of the park. The flames became huge and within a few minutes it was so close to us. Our eyes stung from all the smoke and we had to leave.
So since our visit ended short, we haven't seen much of all the animals, we have to go back again. But I am not sure if the girls feel that way, they told me in the car to never go back there, it is too dangerous!


You can see the flames and thick smoke everywhere! And it spreaded so fast, you hardly could follow it with your eyes. It was huge and fast!!

So when we drove out of the park and we were on the main road, you saw a cattle of cows running away from the fire and smoke looking for a safe place, they were on the streets, since even on the side of the roads the fire was already till there. We had to drive through a thick smoke part for maybe 30 meters, but it was really scary. I couldn't even see half a meter through my windshield, and the fires were on both sides of the streets by now. I was glad when we were through it and save. But I wonder if all those animals are safe. Since they are roaming free within the park, but there is an electrical fence around the whole park, so the animals can't go anywhere...very sad and scary if something happens like that and you are right there!

Since we all hadn't had desert or even finished the meal we were eating, we all, 17 of us went to our place and had coffee, lollypops and wine afterwards to end this crazy day!

What a weekend it was, a fashion show and a wild fire...hopefully next weekend a bit less action ;-)

1 comment:

Jennifer & Jeff Kitzmiller said...

Wow! I was going to comment on the how gorgeous the flowers and everything thing is there...it really is beautiful. But now I am like, woa, what an adventure you all are having! Can't believe that fire came out of nowhere and spread so fast! Scary! Please update us on how the animals made out.

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