03.29.2015 - 03.29.2015 90 °F
On Palm Sunday we had our service early in the morning in beautiful Palm Court, the observation lounge high up on the front of the ship. After clearing South African Immigration we met our guides and headed off for our 2 day African Safari.
Richards Bay is in Kwa Zulu-Natal Province, "Where South Africa becomes Africa". It Is the place of the Zulu people, once a great sub-Saharan African kingdom.
Our first game drive was in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, which is well-known for its conservation efforts.
After lunch at the Mindindini Trails Camp we set out for a three hour bush walk. Our guides carried rifles as they quietly led us single file into the untouched wilderness.
This Reserve is one of the oldest in all of Africa, credited with saving the white rhino (misnamed - not actually white) from near extinction.
During the afternoon walk (it was hot, hot, hot!!) we did not expect to encounter any of the large animals, though the Reserve is home to the big five. The afternoon should be their nap time, but we did get close to an awake rhino, as our guide pointed out tracks and scat that the animals leave behind.
The gates close at 6pm, so we bumped our way quickly along toward the exit - with this surprise appearance by the side of the road that just made the adventure complete!
After a late dinner in the little town of St. Lucia we climbed into a different jeep for a night drive, our third adventure of the day. Our pictures didn't come out well, but we were treated to visions of giraffes, zebra, bush buck and many flashing eyes in the distance,
At one point our guide stopped and jumped out! He had spotted a chameleon he wanted us to see. How in the world did he see it from the jeep?
This beautiful lodge in St. Lucia would have been a great place to stay for more than six hours! Instead, we tumbled into bed at 1am ...
.and were up at 5am and on our way again at 6. I am not complaining! We wanted to see all there is to see!!!