We woke early, just before dawn, it was a clear cool crisp morning; perfect conditions for a day of game driving through the Park. We munched on a light breakfast of muffins, fresh fruit and coffee before climbing into our 4×4 and driving off into the African Savannah.
It was only a few minutes before we encountered a pod of hippos basking in the cool waters in a pond. They watched us watching them as they sporadically slid under water before slowly resurfacing. We sat in awe of these gentle giants before continuing on our way.
Day had broken and the great African plains burst with life with herds of giraffe, wildebeest, zebras and cheeky warthogs grazing the sweet green grass. The cool morning air seemed to energies Zebras whom played some sort of game of animal tag – the younger ones would try to nip the hocks of each other; in defense one would sit down and try to nip back. This game lead to a dozen or so zebras forming a strange yet amusing configuration of half standing, half sitting followed by a quick speedy chase across the Savannah. We watched this amusing sight for several minutes.
The zebras played happily until the great stallion let out an ear piercing warning screech. The herd stopped moving immediately; frozen in position. At that moment we spotted a lioness casually wandering across the exposed plain only a couple of hundred feet from the zebra herd.
We held our breath as the adrenalin raced through our veins. Where we about to see a kill? In some ways we wanted the zebra to run for their lives and other ways we wanted to witness the ultimate in wildlife viewing. It was not long before our leader pointed out that the lioness was too exposed and clearly not hungry enough to hunt. So the zebra were safe for another day. To taunt the zebras the lioness found a quiet spot in the warm sun, lay down and dozed off to sleep.
We watch the herbs of nervous wildlife slowly move away from the position of the lion until safely out of harms way. A couple of hours had passed before we knew it and our grumbly stomachs lead to the suggestion of moving on to find a spot to stretch our legs and feast on brunch.
We continued on our way stopping to view herds of buffalo and giraffe before arriving at our brunch stop. We enjoyed a full meal of coffee, juice, fresh fruit and French toast. With our bellies now full we packed up and continued on our game drive.
10 minutes later we spotted a leopard lazily draped over a branch of an Acacia tree. His belly was full and happily lazing about while his meal digested; completely unperturbed by our presence. Even a herd of elephant wandering past did not seem to bother the leopard.
The day was spent cruising around the game park at our own leisure; having the independence of our own vehicle meant we did not have to rush to try to spot the next animal as the packed tourist vehicles seemed to be doing. We saw the Big 5, as well as 3 of the Little 5, numerous wildlife and birds to top off a truly memorable day. We arrived back at camp just in time to watch the sun set over the plains. For dinner we enjoyed a BBQ feast of tender steak, salads and garlic bread; washed down with a bottle of South Africa red wine. We retired to our walk-in free-standing tents and crawled into our camp beds before falling asleep to the wild sound of the African bush.
It was just another day on the 4×4 Fully Guided Self Drive Cape Town to Nairobi Adventure with Africa Expedition Support.