Aug.

13

On Safari: Wild Kingdom

An early morning sunrise…

This is episode 3 of On Safari. Missed the first two? Read them here and here.

So, after our run-in with Pretty Girl, we arrive at our lodge and we’re welcomed with a much-needed cocktail.

However, we’re sobered up a bit when we’re presented with waivers to sign which affirm that we understand the consequences of our impending adventure.

Then we are taken to our rooms. We settle in and dress for our dinner under the stars. Dinner is beautifully prepared and our Ranger regales us with stories of his fascinating adventures.

Back in our rooms for the evening, we choose sleep over a rousing game of Scrabble.

The clock strikes 5:30am and the telephone rings…it’s a wake up call from our Ranger who offers to escort us to the main house.

We decline because we’re fearless and committed to adventure!

We hop out of bed, brush our teeth, barely comb our hair, throw on several layers of clothing, grab our cameras and the huge flashlight that our Ranger gave us.

The flashlight is used for walking around the camp at night. It gets so unbelievably dark that you can’t see anything.

Birds hitching a ride on a zebra’s backside.

We form a human chain and hold hands the entire walk to the main house.

Since I’m the safari veteran, I get to lead the way. Lucky me.

Once we arrive at the main house, our Ranger and Tracker offer us coffee, which I never drink because I don’t like squatting in the bush.

This little fellow lived outside our room.

As we start the morning drive, it’s cold and dark, but you get a sense that the animal kingdom is waking up, and as our Tracker explains…

There are signs of life everywhere, if you look and listen.

We hear rustling leaves as we drive through the bush, we see fresh dung and footprints on the dirt roads, we see buffalo in watering holes, elephants eating, and exotic birds flying over head.

We see rhinoceros, giraffe, zebra and wildabeest walking about, but…no kills.

Lions sleeping after a kill.

Our evening drive was more adventurous.

Our Ranger gets word that a pack of lions have made a fresh kill, but we don’t find them until they are sleeping it off. And clearly, one lion was annoyed that I decided to take her picture.

Hey, Mama, no worries, you don’t have to roar at me twice.

Half pack of wild dogs sleeping after killing and eating a zebra.

Fresh off the lion sighting, our Ranger’s walkie spouts word of another kill.

Now, be forewarned.

Everyone has their Out of Africa version of what a true safari is like, but a kill, wild animal on wild animal action, is THE show on a safari and you have to have a strong stomach.

We go off the beaten path for this one. I’m nervous, but committed to adventure.

We arrive in time to watch a group of wild dogs devour a zebra until there was nothing left, y’all, nothing. Whew!

Giraffe at Night

After much-needed cocktails in the bush, we decide to look for the elusive leopard, so we drive through endless bush, staring up at trees, hoping to see a leopard hanging out. No luck.

It’s getting dark and we decide to head back to the lodge when we hear something moving on the road ahead of us. With only the headlights from our Ranger’s jeep, we were happy to see that it was just a very large giraffe. Whew!

Such is the life of a southern girl committed to adventure…

Next: Sunrise to Sunset

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