• Andrew Tuck

Day 3 - Guernsey - Lower Your Expectations

Our first night in the South African wilderness.

My body clock still hadn't adjusted to the time change yet. I was awake early.

5:30 am.

Breakfast wasn't until 8:30 am so there was plenty of time to wake up and make some tea for my sister. We enjoyed a stunning sunrise and the sound of nature waking up, while everyone else slept in. The morning air was very fresh, so rugging up was called for.

The lodge staff were up early cleaning the lodging surrounded, pool and walkways while the kitchen staff were busy preparing breakfast for everyone.

Breakfast was an assortment of fruit, cereals, yogurts and muffins. Its time to order your custom hot breakfast. You can pick from eggs done your own way, bacon, sausage, cooked tomato, mushrooms and baked beans.

The morning was spent laying around the pool and reading a good book. A nice break from all the travelling of the past two days.

Morning around the pool

After a light lunch, we left the lodges and heading to our first-night safari game drive in Manyeleti.

A fresh and tasty buffet style lunch

On google maps to says it 1.5 hours from our lodge, but not by African driving. It was only a quick 45-minute drive. We must have almost been travelling at the speed of light to get there for 3:00 pm.

Everyone is rugged up for the afternoon to get a little cold. We were on the game drive for 3 hours so the sun would be well and truly down by the time we get back to the lodge.

We set out in our safari cars looking for animals.

Manyeleti means “Place of the stars” in the local language. It truly is a unique safari destination well off the beaten path. You can be certain not to encounter big tour groups travelling around in buses, but rather expect a pristine bush experience in one of the world's most beautiful places. This 23,000 hectare private game reserve borders directly to the vast Kruger National Park, as well as the famous Sabi Sands and Timbavati Game Reserves. It's situated on the eastern side of Kruger NP, perched between the Sabi Sands and Timbavati. As such, you can be absolutely sure to only experience the best game viewing possible. As there are no fences between the national park and the private game reserves, wildlife can roam freely. Manyeleti is prime “Big Five” territory, offering exceptional gooed possibilities for viewing the elusive leopard. Other Big Five animals (lion, rhino, buffalo and elephant) are also often spotted on a very regular basis. Furthermore, with more than 300 bird species present in the area, Manyeleti makes a great safari destination for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers and bird watchers alike.

During our afternoon we didn't get many chances to stop and take photos, as our driver was very keen to drive quickly from one location to another when he would hear there are some animals around like lions and rhinos. But thats not to say we didn't see our fair share of wild animals. Zebra, monkeys, lions, rhinos, wildebeest, elephants, impala, waterbuck.

Herd of Impala

Wandering Elephant

Calm lion

Lion cuddling up to each other

Lion watching us as we sit there in the protection of our car

Female waterbuck

Relaxing wildebeest

Eating Rhino. A stunning sight to see.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to stop and take any photos of the spectacular sunset over the African plains, but my cousin was able to snap this one off as we were driving around.

Courtesy of Lucy McNamara. At least one of us got a sunset photo.

We were supposed to have a break partway through our game drive to enjoy sunset drinks and nibbles. But by the time that came around the sun had already set and it turned into a quick 5 minute stop to skull our glasses of wine and eat a few snacks before we jumped back into the cars to head back to the gates so our minivans could drive us back to the lodge.

We returned to the lodge at 7:30 pm with a quick moment to drop our bags and cameras in our tents before heading to dinner.

Another dinner by the open fire

Dinner tonight was carrot soup, steak (which I ordered as medium-rare, but it came cooked well done) and to top off the dinner we were served a traditional Malva cake with homemade custard. It was simply to die for.

With my eyes still getting heavy early, 9:30 pm was called as bedtime.

Thanks to:

Accomodation - Ngama Tented Safari Lodge

Activity - Manyeleti Game Reserve

#2019 #Travel #Adventure

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