Sunday, May 4, 2014

Nambidi Private Game Reserve (Game Drive #1)

Sorry it took me so long to post these.  It has been a very rewarding but busy week.  I will tell about that in a different post.

At this game reserve there is what is called the big five.  These animals are called the big five not because they are the biggest but because they are the most dangerous for man to hunt on foot.  The big five include the elephant, the lion, the cape buffalo, the leopard and the rhino.  We saw three of the five on our first game drive.  That is very unusual.

After 6 hours of driving through fog, road construction,
and some beautiful countrysides filled with fields of dry
corn, sunflower plants, and open grasslands with cattle grazing
we finally came to this sign  at the beginning of our real adventure.

Did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world?
There she is under the sign at our lodge.  (My Husband is blind)
This is the entrance to the lodge where we stayed.

Guess who has the new camera.  This is where we stayed.
It is a tent on a deck.  Really cool.  Need them in Alpine.

This is what we saw as we stepped into the front door.  WOW!
Indoor plumbing!  Yeah!  It was really quite cool!

This is our outdoor shower.  It was too cold for that.  We are
going into winter here.  It might be kind of fun after a long hot
game drive but privacy might be a bit of an issue.

These are the vehicles that we used for our game drives.  As soon
as we got settled and had a light lunch we were off and running.

The first and most often seen animal on the game drive is the wildebeest.  Our
driver Jonathan, told us that God made the wildebeest last, with the left over parts.
  It has the rump of a horse, the stripes of a zebra, the face of a buffalo, and the brains
of a fruit fly.  He said they have a memory of about 18 seconds.  He once saw a
wildebeest flee from a lion only to suddenly stop and start eating again.  This
animal is prey for most meat eaters in the reserve.  That is why there are so many.
(Burger King on hoofs)

These are a male and female Greater Kudu.  They are the
second-tallest antelope.

This lioness was in a compound with a second lioness.  They are
being quarantined for a few more weeks before they will be put out
with the other lions. It is hoped that they will mate with the three
 male lions and start a new gene pool. They are not allowed to hunt
while in quarantine but are given their food, which is fresh meat.

These impala are another food source in the reserve.  There are
nearly 2 thousand and we saw them quite often during the drive.

You can imagine how excited we were when we saw these big guys.
There was a cute, new, baby elephant too, but it would never come out
in the open enough for us to get a picture.

It was so exciting to be within a few yard of these massive
creatures.  Jonathan took great care when a big bull elephant
showed up.  He has been giving everyone a hard time so we
back away a bit and sat and watched.

This is one of Elder Edington's favorite pictures.  We left the first
part of the heard and drove around where another part of the herd
was feeding.  Elephants were all around us and we just waited for
them to decide to let us through.  One group got stuck there for quite
a while because the elephants just would not move off the road.

As we drove on through the reserve we saw this small herd of
zebras.  They never came too close but Elder Edington was able
to get a pretty good picture anyway.

As we were driving along, we saw a black-backed jackal.  To me
it look a lot like a large fox.  Others thought it looked like a
coyote.  See what you think.

The next of the big five animals that we saw were four big rhinos.
They were rather slow moving giants that just meandered along the
road.  It did not seem like they cared much if we were there or
not.  Jonathan told us they can not see or smell or hear very well,
but I am guessing there are not too many animals that want to mess
 with them.
The Rhinos horns are purposely cut off in order to discourage
poachers.  They will continue to grow new ones if properly cut.
Poachers kill the rhinos because they do not have time to mess
around and do it right.   They have to work fast in order to not get
 caught so they kill or wound the rhino and then use a chain saw to
 cut out as much horn as they possibly can.  This reserve has not
lost any rhinos this year to poachers but last year they lost two.
Another reserve lost 36 rhinos to poachers.

One of the rhinos went into the bush in front of us and circled
around to our left as we were sitting and watching.  All of a sudden
it started charging toward us.  Jonathan yelled really loud and it stopped
in it's tracks, but not before it gave us a real thrill.  The sister missionary, Sister
Jaeger, who was sitting in the front left seat, nearly ended up in Jonathan's
lap she was so scared.  It was really kind of funny but a bit scary too.

The drive continued until dark but not without  seeing additional animals.We were unable to get any pictures because it was to dark.  We saw three hippos and were told they kill more humans than any other African animal.  That is because they share the rivers with people and as people come and go to the river if they get between the hippo and where he wants to be he just runs over them.

We also saw a cape buffalo which is quite rare because they usually stay away from the areas where the roads are.  This was a big bull that had been forced to leave his herd because he was too old.  He seemed quite docile as he pushed through the tall grass but I do not think I would want to mess with him even if he was old.  That is the third of the big five that we saw on this drive.  Sometime people stay for a couple of days and do not see that many of the big five animals on their drives.  Jonathan was a good guide and the animals cooperated with us as well.

When we got back to our lodging we were in for a sweet surprise.

We walked in to find a hot bath drawn with candles, rose oil in the water
and rose petals all around the tub and floor.  It was a fun surprise.  After a
hot bath we went to the main lodge for a nice supper.

After super we came back to another surprise.  Our covers where pulled back and there was a chocolate on the pillow.  Fun!  Fun!  We never have been treated quite so fancy at any place we have stayed.  So much for the first day.

1 comment:

  1. We were all really impressed!! Looks like so much fun, Thanks for sharing all of your fun experiences with us. We love you!