Baby Rhinos and Leopards, and a Village Visit

May 8

Early 6 AM start. Great just to be out in the jeep in the fresh, cool air, riding through the veld, comfortable with our blankets and hot water bottles; a tremendous sense of freedom. It’s almost as if the animals are just a little bonus. But what a bonus.

Once again, the photos are taken with my iPad. I have much better ones that I currently cannot download from my camera. So this is just a little taste. Tried to give a bit of a feel for the vehicle, the landscape and the closeness of the animals. The clear highlights of the morning were the rhino mother and weeks old baby and a leopard mother and baby.

 Buffet breakfast at the lodge, then immediate turn around for a visit to a local Shangaan community to gain a small insight into village life. We visited a church service, spent time watching and talking to the local sangoma (herbalist or traditional healer) and participated in some local singing and dancing. It was actually quite fun, though we certainly did not get a sense of the village the way we have in other African villages.

With all the talk about baby rhinos, lion cubs and leopard cubs, I don’t want anyone to think that I haven’t been keeping up with THE Cubs, checking scores every day and incredulous at just how good they are. Theo for President! And, yes, it’s good to be thousands of miles from The Donald, able to focus on a more humane wilderness.

But I digress. Light lunch (we’ve been eating non-stop), rest a bit, blog and off for our afternoon/evening game drive, after high tea on the deck at the lodge. Below is a view from the deck and some photos from the afternoon drive, which was very good, but not our best. How special the outing is depends on how lucky you are to encounter unusual sights, and we didn’t have that on this trip. Still, the freedom of driving around the veld and the contrast to our daily lives is quite staggering. And the sundowners, drinks and snacks at sundown, are a great feature of the afternoon drives.  

Dinner outside, lit by lanterns, with our group, which we’ve come to like a lot.  Back to the room to pack, as we leave tomorrow after morning game drive and breakfast.

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