Thursday, Jan 8th

Getting up at 4am is getting to be a lot like going back to work but I guess some of the sunrises have made it worthwhile. And we’re not the only ones up and moving around. Here’s an old Cape Buffalo bull just coming out of his morning mud bath.X-T1_XT1B4261_150109 Before our stay here is over we’ll see these guys by the hundreds plus something special coming up tomorrow.

Now the Manyaleti Game Reserve is about 50,000 acres and quite a bit larger than the area we covered at Sabi Sabi. The other big difference here was the vehicles used. Sabi Sabi used the larger Land Cruiser while at Tintswalo we were hauled around in a Land Rover. The smaller size wasn’t so bad but the ride was a lot different. Nothing like comiX-T1_XT1B4392_150109ng up out of the seat when hitting a big bump and landing on the armrest. That happens because you never know where the game will be and you’ll get someone who’s not afraid to tear down the road to find it. I say that because it was almost an hour between the bull and the lion sighting so I’m purty sure we were hauling ass to find him. Great fun.

As the morning continue we saw more Cape Buffalo and a herd of wildebeest. Those two photos, which are in the slideshow below, were only taken 15 minutes apart but look how the sky has changed between them. It looked like rain was imminent but it never came.

X-T1_XTGF3966_150108We stopped for morning coffee overlooking a large body of water that was dammed (?) up. Darren made up chocarula which is cocoa powder, coffee, and amarula liquor. Highly recommended by all – I’ll have another please.

The buffalo in the photo by the water had come out when Allen, our tour rep, had walked back down the trail to “mark his territory”. It was first one, then two, then all the rest came out and were intently staring at him and checking us out.

We had our first flat today. I stayed in the truck to supervise because it was obvious that Darren and Foster needed my help. These guys would never make it in NASCAR. Once everybody was back onboard it was off to breakfast on the deck and a nice nap before lunch and another nap afterwards. Life is hell in the bush!

Oh yeah, just off the deck is a small creek that used to collect some water when it rained but the last big rain washed out gravel downstream so that not much water collects there anymore. To compensate for that a water hose was put up in an overhanging tree and when it’s running you can have elephants come right up to the deck! Watch out for their spray and they’re hosing themselves down.


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