We were warmly dressed again for the early morning game drive, we had blankets and hot water bottles on our laps - but it soon got warm and the temperature peaked at 34C today.
This morning we went in search of elephants. We saw some from a distance but then the ranger noticed some on the hill in the distance. We drove off road - which is allowed in a private conservancy - to get near them. There was a huge, old bull elephant accompanied by two younger bulls. The old elephant was around 40 years old and had enormous tusks - he was quite relaxed but the younger bulls accompanying him were quite protective and we had an adrenalin racing moment when the one young bull got far too close to us and was starting to threaten the vehicle. Our ranger was excellent and calmed the bull down by talking to it in an authoritative voice, and then it walked on…phew! We saw many vultures and tawny eagles too.
We then checked an area for signs of predators and when it was deemed safe we got out the vehicle for a bush walk, with Andre our ranger explaining many of the smaller items that we saw, such as spiders nests, termite mounds etc. We ‘stalked’ some zebra and saw a large herd of impala. Eventually we walked to where the vehicle was waiting where there were hot drinks and morning snacks waiting for us.
Back at the lodge there was the most sumptuous breakfast waiting for us - all kinds of fruit including papaya, passion fruit, eggs any way you wished, fresh baked items, muffins, French toast….just too much!
After breakfast it was so hot we relaxed at the pool, some swam (the water at 17C is too cold for me) while others just read and relaxed.Eventually I gave in and also had a swim in the cold water, which is unusual for me as I never swim unless the water is warm!
This afternoon we finally saw some buffalo (first extra) which meant we had now ticked off seeing the Big Five! We found the leopard cub we saw on our first day who had been hidden by the mum while she went hunting, but we did not stay long as it is a rule of the game reserve not to stay with unattended animals who are under a year old as it can attract predators.
We ended up at a large watering hole where we had sundowner drinks - see last extra. We had the most stunning sunset I have ever seen, so red and vibrant. We were all in shorts and T shirts as it was so hot but when the sun set it suddenly gets so cold. Driving back and looking up at the starry sky and the Milky Way was a magical way to end the day.
We have had another busy and exciting day - our ranger Andre has been amazing, so knowledgeable and skilled, he has made our experience here very memorable. Tomorrow morning we have our last game drive here and then after our late breakfast we transfer to another game lodge in the Sabi Sands area.