7 January 2012
Title: a trip into the wild.
This morning, we took a long drive with Lisa and Louise from African Trax into the Groote Karoo to Aquila Wildlife Reserve. Freesia, Cyndi, Shira, Paige, Courtney, Kasey, Bean and I were welcomed with a glass of champagne and roaring 4x4 Jeeps ready to take us into the reserve. We went beyond the fences and immediately saw some buffalo right across the fence from the pool. People were so close to this massive animal that could just crush them within a second. We then moved on to see wildebeests and ostriches.
I had a flashback to Oudtshoorn 2009 when I was facing the issue of riding an ostrich...or not. Ultimately I had decided to ride the stupid bird and the joggies had to literally shove me up on to it. I then tried to fall off but they made me hold on! It was so uncomfortable. I hated the feelings of the feathers on my legs. Enough reminiscing.
We moved on into the enclosure for the king of the jungle, the lion! I've never understood this nickname because lions don't really live in the jungle. Anyway, one of the girls with us is very passionate about lions. IT was absolutely magical to be able to be a part of planning to help her achieve her dreams of seeing a lion. When we first went into the lion enclosure, our tour guide had made no promises that we would see any lions, but assured us that there were seven lions within the fenced border, two male and five female. Within the first few minutes, we were able to spot the first female which brought excitement to the whole group. We ended up seeing all of the lions and coming very close to both a male and a female. On our way out of the lion enclosure, we passed another jeep, which was full of students from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. Small World!
We stopped for a break and the drivers popped champagne for us while others took photos and relieved themselves in the bush. For Courtney's birthday, we took the opportunity to celebrate and sing to her and others joined in with their birthday songs in French, Portugese, Hebrew, Spanish and English. We finished out the safari with rhinos, hippos, zebras, more ostriches and springbok.
Upon arrival back at the main house, we were
greeted with a buffet lunch consisting of stew, chicken, braai bread and
potatoes and Greek salad with bread pudding for dessert. Most of us put our
costumes (swim suits) on to take a dip in the infinity pool, which was
gorgeous, with the exception of men in speedos. Old men in speedos. Imagine an
infinity pool with a swim-up bar, mountains in the distance and safari animals
roaming on the other side of a fence. So cool.
Shira was teaching all of the girls how to flip their hair back and once
people figured out how to do it, Freesia's camera never stopped.
On the way home, we were driving through the mountains and Lisa had pointed out some baboons! They were so close to the van we were in! Unlike the baboons at Cape Point, these are still afraid of humans, so they won't climb into your vans. There was even a baboon carrying a baby on its back!