I woke up this morning with a bit of sadness. We had to leave Letaba.
So we packed our bags in silence, went to sit on the bench, drinking coffee, eating our ouma rusks and admiring all the wildlife roaming around on the dry riverbed for the last time. Roan spotted this njala close by.
We took the H1-5 and saw lots of elephants. We stopped at Olifants camp for a while. The last few times we were there, they have been renovating. And now it’s done.
IT LOOKS BEAUTIFUL.
There is a few new decks and the view from there is just STUNNING.
This is the view from the restaurant
It was very hot today, the temperatures rose to 42˚C, so we just bought some ice cream, sat a bit watching the view and took a quick photo off the kids with the little elephant statue. We took a photo of the kids every year we’ve passed Olifants. All these photos are hanging in our living room. It’s nice to see the kids grow.
We stopped to look at some elephants when someone pulled up next to us and shown us the lions on the other side. They were Very far, under a tree. Yeah, our first 2 lions. With the binocular we could see them perfectly, but Eric couldn’t really see them. So we drove on. Hoping to see more lions the next few days.
We decided to skip Satara this time, and take the Timbavati road towards Orpen, our next destination. Just a few kilometres on that road someone stopped us and told us to go to Ratelpan waterhole and look for the lions. Good choice
So we headed there first. These lions were much loser to the road, but not great for a picture. We counted at least 4. While watching the lions, we also saw some buffalo across the waterhole and some Yellow-billed storks.
It was about 12:00 when we reached Timbavati picnic spot. Roan picked out the table closes to our car and I quickly made some sandwiches for lunch. We didn’t have something to drink, so I gave Roan money to buy us some cold drinks from the guards. He came back with no change and told me he bought 2 soda’s for the guards as well. He felt sorry for them working in that heat all day.
There were a few families with children and they were all admiring the bush buck at the picnic site. Roan and Eric finally came to sit down for lunch. While we were eating my heart almost stopped.
I saw a bush buck running down the hill and HIGH SPEED. It puzzled me, because I never seen bush bucks running that fast.
As I was thinking that, I saw something right behind him, making impressive moves to avoid bushes and rocks. The bush buck ran passed us and I totally panicked when I saw a predator chasing him. My first thoughts was LEOPARD. I jumped up, almost choking in my bread, and grabbed the kids.
At the same time the guards shouted " LION " and they both jumped up and ran towards the lioness.
This all happened in a matter of seconds. The lioness stopped so fast, that a dust cloud appeared. She looked at us for a few seconds, and then turned around and disappeared into the bushes as if nothing happened.
It was dead quiet on the picnic site. When she was gone, everyone came together and couldn't stop talking about it. I was almost hysterical and just wanted to get the kids into the car and get out of there as fast as I can.
Philip stayed calmed and loved the excitement. It all happened so fast and everyone was so shocked that no one took a photo
I took this Photo minutes before it happened.
All exited and quickly after that we continued our journey. At leeubron we saw a car parked kind of unusually. When we approached him we saw what they were looking at. 7 lions. Wow, we saw 14 lions in one day, not to bad.
We arrived at Orpen and as usual, the kids were in the pool in no time. This is a totally different experience. The pool was next to the gate with a view on the webcam and waterhole. We had guest cottage number 15, right next to the fence and after unpacking and swimming we sat on the veranda, enjoying the view. Elephants came for a drink and I can not describe the feeling, being so close and seeing them splashing around.
At 16:30 the first of our family arrived. My second oldest sister ELKOS and her husband came to stay with us for the night. It was lovely seeing them again and we had a wonderful braai.
We sat on the veranda till passed 22:00 seeing all kinds of animals coming for a drink. We saw elephants, kudu,s, hyenas, buffalo's, and impala's. Just before we went to bed, we saw a little jackal. A perfect way to end the day. I have to apologise for my bad film making. My new camera also have a HD film option and I tried it out this holiday. I only realised when I got home, that I should have used a tripod, especially when I zoomed in. Almost all my video's turned out to be a bit shaking. Well, at least it's something