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Rugby, Armoured Guards and Wild Animals

I still have quite a bit of photos from the last month or so that I wanted to upload, so I figured, why not combine them all into one post. To cover it all I have to go back to early September, when Lance and I had our first 2 weeks off, after having worked for 6 weeks straight. To say we were excited to finally have break is an understatement. After 6 full on weeks, with so much happening, we were looking forward to our much deserved break. We stayed in Johannesburg for our entire 2 weeks, with family friends of Lances and had the most relaxing time of our lives. We basically stayed in bed, watching movies and editing photos the whole time. In fact, we did so little that our backs were aching from lying down all day, but it was totally worth it!

On day 3 things got a little more excited though, when we heard a knock on our bedroom door and a man wearing full armor (including baton, helmet and gun) was standing in the hallway. As it turned out, Geoffrey, the gardener, had accidentally pressed the panic button and this man was a security guy, checking to see if everything was ok. Eventually we got quite acquainted, as the girl who had been looking after the house, while the owners were away, hadn’t quite figured out that when you set the alarm inside and other people or dogs are still there, the alarm goes off, resulting in Mr. Armor-guard showing up every single time πŸ™‚

At the end of our break, the day before heading back, Lance and I were invited to watch a rugby match between the Bulls and Western Province in the stadium in Pretoria. We had such a great time! The people we were staying with, who had invited us to this game, own a “box” in the stadium. It’s on the top floor, with it’s own bar, food and seats outside to watch the game while we drank and ate as much as we wanted. It was lots of fun, even though their team lost.

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On Sunday it was time to head back. We packed our stuff and drove 5/6 hours back to the bush. It was great to be here again. Although I had an amazing time off, the bush beats the city any day. Later that week I was able to go on gamedrive again. I hadn’t been in such a long time that I really looked forward to it. I love being out here.

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Not long after leaving we got word of a herd of about 6 to 7 bull elephants roaming round. One of our biggest elephants, Ezulwini, was amongst them. I had heard a lot about him, but still hadn’t seen him. He is absolutely huge!! I didn’t get a good shot of him, but as soon as I do, I will upload it. This one, however, was quite clever. While we followed him, he decided he’d had enough of us and started pulling a tree out of the ground. Now, elephants often do this, to eat them, but this one strategically placed it in the middle of the road, without eating a single leaf or branch, just to block our path. It was quite a funny sight, to be outsmarted by an elephant, exactly why I love them, they are so smart!

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Ridwell, our tracker, managed to pull it away from the car and chuck it to the side.

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We even got to see Limpy. Her pride is still on the other side of the river and she was looking very skinny.

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A few days later, I had the chance to join Lance again on drive. This time we saw more elephants, including this grumpy male.

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After the elephants, lance took us to the river, where a group of hippo’s live. We got out of the car and went for a little walk. During the day these animals love to cool down in the water, but as soon as the sun goes down, they go looking for food. We still had a little bit of time πŸ™‚

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Before heading back to the lodge, we heard that Limpy was spotted again. She had somehow managed to make a kill and had eaten so much she had trouble breathing, because her stomach was pushing on her lungs. It was great to know that she wasn’t going hungry, especially considering we found out a few days later, that she had two cubs!

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