Saturday 9th April.
I was packed and on the road by 9am and the first 60 km was on the same road as I had driven yesterday except today was much warmer and sunnier....after I passed the point where I went hiking yesterday the road was all new to me and it was a splendid drive through some extensive canyons and mountain passes....the road system and markings are good and it seems to me that if a driver wants to pass you it is customary for the vehicle being passed to pull onto the shoulder and that is what I did when it was safe to do so and I did not pass any vehicles.
By 1pm I was approaching the gate entrance to Kruger National Park Delwin had given me wonderful accurate directions and 45 minutes later I arrived at the camp where I had to sign in and register and then drove to Delwin's Cottage.
I met Delwin, his wonderful wife Sonja, Carmen who is Sonja's sister and then friends of theirs Jennell and Jeff all delightful people.
OK I need to tell you about the complex it is a gated community in the boundary of the KNP and there are 200 cottages on site spread over many acres of bush, tree and farm land...all very well managed and as you will see later it has a wonderful pool and recreation area and it is just so peaceful.
We all sat around drinking tea and getting to know one another and then at 4 pm we got into the view land rover and went on a game drive....for me it was really special to not be driving and to be sitting up high off the ground and on the look out for animals in the natural habitat.....Delwin is just a encyclopaedia of informative about the animal, the behaviour, their tracks...I am learning so much...on this drive I saw a crocodile, elephant, many impala and buffalo......around 6pm we do the Sundowner...which is to stop somewhere with a view get out the drinks and snacks and watch the sun go down.....
We then continued driving around all the maze of dirt roads..it got dark and I was assigned as spotter with the big flash light..it was fun and the thrill is that you have no idea what may or may not be around the next bend...
What fun we got back around 8pm and between Sonja, Carmen and Jeff they rustled up a great BBQ dinner and we sat around the camp fire chatting and listening to the varied animals noises.
By 10pm I was ready for bed and I have my own beautiful spacious room with bathroom and I slept like a baby only waking once in the night to hear the hyena somewhere in the bush.
How lucky am I to have been invited to the lodge to finally meet Delwin after all these months and mix with such kind and generous people.
Sunday 10th April
I did have a good sleep till around 7am when I got up made myself some tea and we all got ready for our 8 am game drive.....This time Sonja drove and off we went on the dirt roads it was a beautiful sunny day but unfortunately because it was Sunday the animals decided to have a stay at home day and the sightings were not too plentiful but it was a lovely time and this time we stopped for tea and coffee and rusks before coming home around 11am.
Sonja and Delwin quickly got the bacon and eggs going and we had a scrumptious breakfast. I have appointed myself chief dish washer and happy to do this chore and will do all week!!
I realized that with all the sitting I had been doing the last week and the lovely food I would be eating this week that it was important for me to get some exercise..so I put on my hiking boots and spent 90 minutes walking all around all the roads in the complex......it is strange because there is a huge gate with guards at the entrance to the complex but then the back is completely open and in the park...there is an electric fence but the wires start about 6 feet off the ground and the idea is to allow the animals to come and go throughout the complex except the elephants which I am beginning to learn are the most destructive of all the park animals.....I enjoyed my walk and then I went to the pool...OH YES there is a pool....it was so refreshing swimming but I had to smile because Delwin told me that the last time they were out at the lodge they went swimming every night and the day they left some other residents were in the pool when they were joined by a hippopotamus!!!!! Can you image relaxing in the pool when that guy gets in!!!!
I was back to the cottage and we got packed up again for our afternoon game drive....again not a lot of animals but I enjoyed seeing more elephants and impala and some great close up of buffaloes!!!!!
This sundowner was at a lovely water hole where I think I got the shot of the day a buffalo and I caught him walking along the edge of the water with his reflection in the water!!!
We did not get back till late and again everyone chipped in to have another delightful dinner. I did the dishes.
Ended the evening sat around the fire and exchanging stories.....
Jennele and Jeff leave early in the morning and then another couple of friends are coming to spend a few nights....
Had a great day and I am being treated so well and looked after like I am royalty!!!
Only able to down load a couple of shots!!!