Africa, South Africa

Our Last Dreamy Safari Game Drive

Our last safari game drive started with a cold and misty morning; I was layered up after yesterday’s experience. I couldn’t believe the first animal we saw was the rhinos! It looked like a mother and baby rhino pair having breakfast in the morning.

Look, there are two birds on the mother rhino, those birds like to tag along with giant beast LOL!

There was even a bird “standing” on below the baby rhino’s ears, can you see it?

After the rhinos…we were back to searching again, it was so misty that we couldn’t see anything beyond 10 feet away. It sure added a dreamy and mysterious feel to it, however, it was extra cold as the cold mist wet our hair and face along with the wind chill.

The impalas crossing the road, the added dreaminess made the scene magical!

The perfect moment:

Impalas love to take photos, every time I pointed a camera at them, they just freeze and look at me 😀 This whole group stared at me, wow!

 

 

After a while of not seeing any animal, DeBeer got out of the safari truck and walked into the bushes without a rifle, only a walky-talky :O We picked him up on the other side and he made it out safely phew!!!

The Rangers were radio calling each other and finally, they located the lion. From tracking, they were able to tell that the lions were hunting last night so this one was all worn out. According to Jamie, this lion and his brother are in the same pride who are in this area of Sabi Sands. Each pride occupies an area; their territory. We stayed there to photograph this lion for a least 10 minutes and learned a lot of the lion pride. Most interesting is that the father (leader of the pride) drives out the male cub once he reached 3 years old because he is afraid that this son will overtake him. The 3-year-old young lion is off on his own to form his own pride. The average lifespan of a lion is 10-14 years; lioness is longer.

He looked very tired!

Despite having 20+ cameras’ shutter sound, he fell asleep…

But he still very cautious of his surrounding:

That majestic look!

And then knocked out to sleep!

The sun has raised and the mist slowly cleared by the time we found the lion.

Moving on, we saw this group of warthogs:

Then, right in front of us was a zebra crossing the road, OMG, finally a full zebra without obstructions!

Jamie stopped this time, no more Indian couple, and we took our time to photograph the zebras yay!!! Our wish finally fulfilled!

And it looked at me 🙂

It’s so beautiful!

Jamie and DeBeer found an open spot for us to have our morning tea and we took the opportunity to take photos with the emptied safari truck 😀

 

We are going to miss safari!

There was also a buffalo’s head skeleton on the ground which became Jamie’s chair haha!

Remember the day before, Brian was crazy enough to walk out to the field to photograph with the skeleton, and now we had our chance without much effort haha!

After the tea break, we looked for more animals on the way back to the lodge. As we were approaching the lodge, DeBeer located another leopard :O This is a young one according to them and that she is inexperienced in hunting…she’s debating on a hunt or not of the impalas up on the hill.

She was the last animal we saw on our last safari, it was an awesome way to conclude our drive as the first animal we saw upon entrance of Sabi Sands was also a leopard!

We got back to the lodge, had a quick breakfast, checked out, and then Jamie was the assigned one to drop us off at Hoedspruit Airport as he also needed to pick up some parts at the airport. The airport around 2 hours away and our flight was at 1:10 pm to Cape Town. We had a good conversation with Jamie on the way 🙂

Our flight to Cape Town:

For a 3 hours flight, they served us food and it actually tasted good….spicy beef cold noodle!

Also, spicy beef flavored pretzels haha.

Arriving Cape Town!

Hum, what is that big hole?

Once we landed, we picked up our car, and straight to our apartment – Canal Quays Apartments. The apartment is located in the marina area which is one of the safe sections of Cape Town. That area has a lot of renovation undergoing to build more apartments. Check-in was a little confusing as the check-in is located on the side of the main entrance….the building is an apartment complex, some are owned by a company to rent it out as the holiday apartments. The view from our balcony is another apartment under construction and we saw some people were playing ball via kayaking.

Our wonderful 2-bedroom apartment with a big living room and kitchen area.

 

First bedroom with the view of the urg…construction zone across:

I have never seen so many closets before!

That bedroom has a master bathroom and then another separate bathroom, it was modern and clean!

Our 2nd bedroom, it was odd that it has a window to look at……..the hallway outside. I understand the need for natural lights but through the outside hallway? Weird!

The apartment has both washer and dryer too!

After we settle down, we Uber out to V&A Marina where it has a huge shopping mall and many restaurants. Uber is very cheap in South Africa and highly recommended for safety reason. However, make sure you verify the driver before going into his/her car. I got this tips from TripAdvisor that ask the driver who is he/she picking up instead of asking “are you xxx?”. If you ask the driver, “are you xxx?”, he/she can just reply “yes” and that’s not a good way to confirm. If you ask “who are you picking up?”, the legit driver must know your name from the Uber app. Although one driver found it annoying but it’s the best practice to be sure!

Speaking of cheap, the way to the marina should only cost around 30 Rand (around $2) but this driver kept turning the wrong way and drove super slow. He looked very nervous, not sure if he pretends or not, but it ended up costing us over 50 Rand! We arrived at the waterfront and lined up to dine at Willoughby & Co. While waiting in line, we were offered free wine tasting :O

We waited like 10 minutes or so and got a table in the middle of the shopping mall. We ordered sushi and the menu said: “reload any of the sushi rolls above for only 10 Rand”! We thought it was a super deal!

The sushi was very good!

Our table full of sushi rolls, we ordered three and thinking to “reload” afterwards!

Salmon sashimi but it wasn’t as good as the ones we had in New Zealand!

We ordered steamed mussels, some weren’t that fresh though. And also an udon to keep me full 🙂

When we finished the sushi rolls, we “reloaded” 2 of them since those two were very good. When we got the bill, we were puzzled on why we got charged full price on those 2 sushi rolls. The waiter came and explained that “reload” is a term for extra sauce in South Africa. OMG OMG, what LOL!!! What a culture difference even with the same English language, we interpreted the word differently! What is “reload” in the context “reload any of the sushi rolls above for only 10 Rand” means to you? Don’t you think the same way as we do…like “refill”? It was such a funny story that we had a good laugh at it and we will never forget that term! The dinner cost us 1500 Rand (around $113) for four of us, 5 sushi rolls, 1 sashimi, 1 mussel, and 1 udon, not bad. The way back to our apartment, the Uber driver knows the direction and was fast so it only cost us the estimated amount 30 Rand.

2 thoughts on “Our Last Dreamy Safari Game Drive

  1. I thought the same as you on the reload for the sushi !!!! That is so funny! The apartment looks fabulous too.
    I never considered a safari before but it looks great, not at all as I pictured it to be.
    Thanks for this great trip report, I learned a lot.

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