The morning game drive..........with a gallant rescue!
ST our very special guide at Vumbura Plains
On a safari your trained guide/ranger is also your personal host. At Vumbura we were fortunate to have ST watching out for us every moment of our stay, from his booming "good morning ladies" at the gate at 6:00AM, to his walking us 'home' at night following dinner because guests are not permitted alone on the walkway to the tents in the dark. Hippos, elephants etc. often cross through the camp on their way to the water and one doesn't want to end up as an appetizer!
After a night getting used to snorting hippos and screeching Francolin birds outside the tent, along with gauzy mosquito nets wafting around the beds when the wind picked up, we were up with the sun and more noisy birds and monkeys in the nearby trees. Dressed in our safari garb, not exactly elegant but very comfortable, we were headed to a delicious breakfast buffet by 6:30AM.
Jen and me checking our cameras
Morning game drives leave camp at 7:00AM at this time of year, early Winter in southern Africa. Tucked into the Land Rover with warm blankets, photographic paraphernalia and a picnic basket complete with coffee, 'bush tea' and healthy dipping cookies for the morning break, we were soon on the trail and feeling like real adventurers.
Jackie's Pan - Time for a coffee break
Wildebeest and Impala
At this point I want to tell you that I took over two thousand photos on this trip! There's no way I'm going to bore you to death by showing every one......but I do have a lot of really great ones I want to share to give you a glimpse of the beauty of these African countries. I'll incorporate many pics into my safari stories, others, especially of the animals, I may just add as extras here and there - they'll be self-explanatory.
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
In the bush there are creatures everywhere..........even before you spot them you can feel their eyes upon you.
Mighty Cape Buffalo
An elephant's eye
From a giraffe's point of view
Sleepy-eyed lionesses in the grass
The lionesses had two 6 month and two 6 week old cubs.
.........and then there was this morning drive mishap................
Photo of me by Jennifer
Are you laughing? Here we are being rescued by handsome young men from a bogged down Land Rover - those monster vehicles are great at 'landscaping' through the dry bush but had some problems in the flooded areas.
Babs, Jen and Paula
Told you they were gentlemen! When our Land Rover got stuck I said no way to paddling in the murky flood waters.......Brit blogger Rowan, familiar with southern African waterborne diseases had warned me earlier. Thanks to ST, Brian, Noku and others, we gals were carefully hand-carried to another vehicle, with laughs all around. I was first out and able to get pics of the others. Later we kidded the guys that their arms had grown longer from carrying so much weight!
After so much excitement, it was back to camp for a shower, lunch and the afternoon rest while catching up on journal entries.
Next time..............the loo with a view, and an awesome boat trip deep into the Okavango Delta.
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR is a fresh version of my former three year blog ACROSS THE POND which can still be accessed by clicking on the title above.
I'm a transplanted Brit enjoying life in North Carolina. 50 years journeying back and forth across the wide Atlantic Ocean have kept me busy.......and made my life very interesting! I'm still traveling often - look forward to sharing many new places during the next couple of years.
All images are my own unless noted otherwise. Please do not use my photos without a request. I enjoy sharing and will usually say OK!