Now we were on a mission to get to Phala Gate, so Dungy put his foot down and at just under 50kph we set off down the H14, where we saw a few Giraffe, Zebbies, Baboons and Buffs.
As we approached the causeway, a car flagged us down, and the driver said "Be careful, there is a very angry Elephant the other side, and he is not letting cars past"!!
Just what we didn't need!!!
We proceeded carefully, but there was no sign of any Ellies, so we set off for Phala, pleased that we had plenty of time, but then a few minutes later............!!
Oops............."What is that up ahead I cried"?!!!
He really was very agitated, and he was jumping around in the road, trumpeting, with his trunk swinging and his ears flapping!!
Shame, we wondered if he was in pain to be so aggressive, or just very angry at the world in general!
Dungy started to reverse, and down the road thundred the ellie towards us!
"Dad, go faster" shouted our daughter, and I endorsed every word she uttered!!
Several cars were backing up behind us, and didn't seem to share our urgency to retreat, so I just said "Keep going, they'll get the message"........and they did!!
It seemed that we would soon be back at the flipping causeway, or even Mopani, and all the time we were keeping an eye on our watches!!
Well of course eventually "Mr Grumpy" decided that he'd had enough, and trundled off into the bush, so we were very relieved to be at last on our way again!!
I said "Right folks, unless it's a cat or a dog, we don't stop now till the gate, and as I had finished speaking the word "gate" our daughter shouted "Stop Dad....... Lions"!!!
Yeah right............very funny!
"No Dad, really.........stop, there are two lions"!!
By this time we had sailed right past them, so Dungy had a fair bit of reversing to do (again!!) but oh my word, there they were, a sub-adult male and a Lioness!!
They appeared to be kissing and cuddling, and our daughter said "Oh look, they are obviously in love............bless!!"
As I have said though, the male did look very young, so we weren't sure if they were actually a mating couple, youngsters playing at mating, siblings playing, or even mother and son!!
We knew that we couldn't spend long with them, because it really was getting late now, but SIL had a repeat button on his camera, and managed to take 307 photos!!!
I even managed 25, before reluctantly we left them to it.
What a wonderful end to an amazing day...............SIL was quite right to "feel it in his water"
We also saw Mum, Dad and junior Southern Ground Hornbill a little further along, and stopped for a very quick photo, but then it really was "Mission Phala Gate"!!
We arrived at the gate at 6.15pm so we really needn't have worried, and we breathed a sigh of relief as Dungy popped the boot, for the gate guard to check.
We had so much to talk about while we sipped our sundowners, and SIL and I couldn't wait to down load our photos!!
Dinner was honey and mustard chicken, gems and a baked spud, which was very tasty, but horror of horrors, there was only a dribble of Amarula left in the bottle!!
"Oops said SIL, I meant to say we needed another bottle, and tomorrow is Sunday, so none now till Monday".
However all was not lost, as we just poured ourselves a brandy instead.
The miriad of stars were twinkling in the sky, and the insect chorus was just getting into full pitch, and here we were nursing our brandies, in this beautiful country called South Africa, with full tummies and contented hearts!!!
What a truely amazing day we had had!!
To be continued.................