I last left you as we were getting ready to board our Land Rovers to head to our lodge, Lion Sands, in the Kruger National Park.
We were all so exited at our first wildlife sighting. Much more exciting viewings were to happen.
In order to get to our lodge, we had to go over this bridge, The Sober Bridge. Joe, our ranger and driver, told us it was so named because you need to be sober to drive over it.
Excitement was mounting as we approached the lodge where we were to stay for two nights.
This is the main building. Our "hut" was to the right.
This was our "hut". We were told that after dark we should call the office and ask for an escort from our room to the main facility because of the animals (sometimes leopards!) that roam the area.
And see what was right outside of our window! We were warned to make sure our windows were closed when we left because the monkeys like to come into the rooms and thoroughly enjoy themselves.
After settling in, we went on our first game drive with Ranger Joe and Lucas, our tracker. Lucas' seat is actually attached to the front of the Land Rover. Lucas is one of four Master Trackers in the whole world. Weren't we lucky to end up with him?
Here are some of the highlights of our first couple of game drives.
We quickly learned that monkeys can be a nuisance at lunch on the deck at the lodge.
We had to threaten the monkeys with a slingshot (don't worry, we weren't allowed to shoot anything, it was just a threat) in order to try to keep the them from grabbing food off the tables. Generally all you need to do was to show the slingshot to the monkeys, and off they would run. If the sight of a slingshot didn't work, the staff had an air gun handy (it shot only air), and that certainly served its purpose.
Here's Tom with the slingshot.
I wish I had taken a video of the monkeys making off with dinner rolls from our table.
Late afternoon we headed off again in search of more animals.
I couldn't get over the size of the termite mounds!
We certainly weren't roughing it. During the late afternoon/early evening drives, Joe would stop at a scenic safe spot, and we would climb out of the Land Rovers for drinks and appetizers. These events were called "sundowners".
Later we took an off-road excursion when Lucas learned there was a leopard nearby on the other side of the river.
Lucas heard that there were lions nearby, so we set off to try to find them, but first he had to help Joe get our vehicle back on the road.
Whew! We made it there in time to see this...
We did four drives at our first lodge before heading off to another lodge, Sabi Sabi, for more drives and more adventures.