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Swimming, sunbathing and gamedrives

28 September: At 5.40AM my alarm went off as all our 6 guests were leaving early. By 7AM everyone was gone and it was already 28 degrees at this stage, so going back to bed seemed pointless. Lance was awake as well, so we decided to go for a drive together. We drove around for about 3,5 hours, coming across elephants, giraffe, even a 2 day old baby (see below), baboons, watebuck, warthogs… We went for a few walks, photographing the hippos and finding some nice spots for Lance to take his guests to for drinks. He had seen a gigantic rock and wanted to see if it was suitable. It ended up being a little too steep and full of sharp branches. We even found some snake eggs and when we started smelling a dead animal, we decided it probably wasn’t the safest spot. By 11AM it was scorching hot and we were both so hungry and thirsty that we went back to the lodge for breakfast. We had a great morning!

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You can tell this one is only a day or 2 old, by its horns, which are still pointing to the side, plus its umbilical cord was still attached.

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One way of telling the difference between a male and female giraffe, is by checking if it has hair on its horns. Males fight a lot, causing its hairs to fall off, while with females it’s still attached.

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Jackal

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A giant lion footprint down by the river.

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Click to enlarge

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Having a swim with Debrah when there were no guests in camp.

After breakfast we had a swim to cool off and drove into town to drop off some staff members and buy groceries. Because the others wanted to come along to do some shopping, we took the landrover. Here we were, all 8 of us, driving into town. We got our stuff done and waited for the others to finish. On the way back I sat behind Lance to make sure no groceries would fall off. Having no windscreen in front of you and going 100 km/h I got so burned by the wind and sun, that my whole face felt numb when we got back. We quickly unloaded the groceries and went for another swim for heading out for another afternoon drive.

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After driving for about an hour or 2, we heard that Limpy and her 2 cubs had been spotted, deep into the thick bushes. We quickly picked up the spotlight from the lodge and raced to where she was. The bush was so thick and the trees all covered in thorns, that it took us about 30 minutes to drive just 100 meters. Getting stuck, almost losing a mirror and having to do 20 point turns, we finally reached the spot where others had been viewing her, but just as we got there, she decided to move a couple meters and we couldn’t see her anymore. Eventually she lay down and you could hear her soft roar, calling the cubs. We hadn’t been able to get a good view, but now the two cubs came into sight, slowly walking towards mum. They were by far the most adorable thing I had ever seen. So very tiny! They are only 6 weeks old and it explains why Limpy didn’t want to cross the river with the rest of her pride.

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We spent a good 30 minutes with them, but eventually had to get back for dinner. Driving back through the thick, sharp bushes, while sitting on the trackers seat it’s fair to say this wasn’t the most comfortable seat. I was covered in scratches, but is had been absolutely worth it!

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