We drive from Cape Town for about an hour and half to the reserve. We enter the gates and drive down this long dirt road for probably a good 15 minutes. Our white rental car is no longer white. Right when we walk in the wood chalet looking house, were given warm toilettes, ok yes this is the life. It get’s better, we’re then greeted with ‘sangria’, yup ok I’ll stay here for the rest of my life.
They gave us a villa for the few days we were staying there. It was a dream. We went on our first safari that night. Yikes, did we see more than I could have ever imagined. We began with the hippo pond where we saw one just lounging in the pond enjoying some rays and all of a sudden a little head pops up and there’s baby hippo.
We then go on the hunt for the elephant tribe. The best part of the reserve is that the animals are wild. There are fences although the property is so large that there is enough land and habitation for all to sustain on. The rare animals like the buffalos are in a separate part of the land because they want these animals to focus on reproducing. They still have to go out and find their own food and protect themselves just like in the wild but it’s just of lesser quantity. I really got the feeling that they cared about the animals and preserving their natural instincts. When we were going around the reserve in these huge roofless jeeps, the ranger had a walkie talkie and would radio in or ask where the last sighting of the animals were, then we would go through the tracks and try and find them.
We were able to find the tribe of elephants right when the sun was going down. As some may know elephants are my favorite animal so this was a truly magical moment. What made it better was the ranger gave us permission to get out of the jeep and stretch our legs, but also he had a little picnic for us. There was banana chips, beers, red and white wine. Like, was this even real, elephants, sunset, wine… this is true happiness in Africa.
We hop back in the jeep after it’s gotten quite cold and pitch black. The jeep has barely any lights on. Our next spot was with the lions. We find ourselves between the lioness, who’s getting ready to pounce and attack a buck and the lion on the other side of us, while another lioness and the cubs waiting patiently further back for the first lionness to bring back diner. When the lion get’s impatient he walks over to the lioness and gives this deep roar. Hearing that sound made my heart start. It was incredible, my whole body had goose bumps.
The next day we wake up real early to go on our next safari adventure. Our ranger takes us to where the elephants were last seen but were interrupted by another radio in. He pulls up to where we were last night, and all I see is this big vibrant red thing. It takes a second for me to think… this is the lions dinner…or breakfast, the lioness has caught a zebra and the lion and the cubs are chewing at it. The poor zebra body is limp. The animal kingdom is insane.
WARNING PICTURES ARE A GRAPHIC!!
The rest of our day is spent eating, getting a massage and a pedicure. All the huts that we were in have floor to ceiling windows, so after breakfast the tribe of elephants walked right by. So casual, so elegant. Living the life in the wild.
I joked as we were checking out that they should make their slogan ‘’Never Gon-a-Wanda leave’’ ahah get it. The animal reserve we were staying at for three days was called Gondwana Game Reserve, and I just had the best time and you got it.. I Never Gon-a-wanda leave.. See it’ll catch one day eventually…maybe… not