Thursday, September 25, 2008

Safari in Madikwe ~ part 2

The second day of our safari we started off with tea and rusks (In South Africa, rusk is a traditional biscuit (called beskuit in Afrikaans) that is eaten after having been dipped in coffee or tea, especially rooibos tea. Historically, rusks evolved (along with biltong) during the country's early pioneering days as a way to preserve bread in the dry climate) and then we did the morning drive. Here is the Wilde Beest, strange looking animal, kinda sad. We saw quite a few of them, mostly in groups.
The Rhino was really relaxed and let us come by quite nearby, but then it started spraying his area and was telling us not to come closer. At least that was what Tsolo our ranger was telling us!
Many giraffes we saw, they are so elegant and beautiful, I really like seeing them over and over again!
The Impala's you see the most, so cute and they can jump so far and high, they have to since they are prey to the lions!
And then we saw the elephants, they came close by, there was a mother with her baby, and the mother was really protective, she actually came behind our jeep and was chasing us. Flapping her ears wide open to make herself even bigger. Telling us not to come nearby, because she would destroy that jeep!!

Last but not least the buffalo's, with huge horns, they were in a group as well, but kinda hiding behind the bushes, so only a few we could get a close up and nice shot.

And here a Kudu, with the big cute ears, they make biltong of kudu as well (like jerky).

The phrase Big Five game was coined by big-game hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The term is still used in most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss African wildlife safaris. The big 5 are the African Elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and the leopoard. We saw them all but the leopard, so we have to do a few more safari's before we can say that we saw them all! Which suits me fine ;-) Besides these big 5 we saw many more animals and we just loved the trips in the jeep. In total we did 3 drives, the last morning we felt like sleeping in and joining the monkeys on our balcony, naughty little monkeys who dare to come really close!! But we didn't..haha!

Jasmine and Juliet were so scared after our almost tipping over moment they didn't feel like going on a drive with us anymore. So the lodge arranged a kiddy drive with Tsolo our ranger, just with them. And after they did some arts and crafts with some of the staff, they had so much fun. And for us it was a lot more relaxed as well.

After our sunset drive we had dinner at the boma, a boma is an enclosure with firepit. It used to be a livestock enclosure, boma is the equivalent of 'kraal', and the former being used in areas influenced by Swahili and the latter in areas influenced by Afrikaans.
All the people at the Thakadu river lodge had dinner there, so the four of us and our newly made friends and 3 other couples who where on honeymoon sat around the campfire and enjoyed this African dinner. Just beautiful. We all had a reason why we we there, Bdays, honeymoons and we were on our 12th anniversary. Ross and David were celebrating their Bday so the staff came out with 2 cakes and champagne (which their wifes had arranged) and danced and sang for them in a few African languages. This was such an amazing moment, I really loved it!! It was quite magical to be there around the fire, people singing and dancing. We had a such a grand time at Thakadu River Camp!!
African lifestyle is good!!


Jennifer & Jeff Kitzmiller said...

Wow! Just amazing! Sounds like you had an incredible and exciting trip!

Emm said...

Hi, I found your blog on Expat Women. I can't believe how good your photos are! I was never able to get shots like that... although maybe I should check my pictures out again before I go putting them down. Yours are very impressive.
I love impalas, I love the marking on their back legs.

Mireille said...

Thanks Jen & Emm! We indeed had an amazing time. And we were lucky to see the animals so up close, that helps with taking great pictures you know ;-)


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