Today, while driving on the paved road In Kruger National Park, a gigantic matriarch elephant was blocking the road for quite a while. We couldn’t go forward. We couldn’t back up with multiple vehicles behind us. We waited patiently. This is their home, not ours, and they lead the way on what they’d like us to do or not.
Finally, after about 30 minutes, we could pass, but only after she wandered into the bush. Many vehicles were in front of and behind us, undoubtedly anxious to be on the move again.
We’d had so much safari luck today that we were patient and ready to move on only when it was made possible by the wildlife. We’d already seen and taken many photos, and if our day had to end there, we would have been content. But it didn’t end there, and more wonders awaited us as the day progressed.
A short time later, we were holding our breath when the two female lions wandered on the road in front of us; we were squealing with delight over the much-revered sighting that tourists long to see and some never see. There were four or five cars near us jockeying for position, but we started in a perfect position, so the photos weren’t challenging to take.
We can drive through Kruger 20 times and never see a lion. Of course, we were excited, to say the least. This fantastic sighting only added to the joy of what we’d already spotted. Then again, we said, “If our day ends here, we are content with what we’ve seen so far.” But, how wrong we were. More safari luck was on the horizon.
We continued on the long drive to Lower Sabie, looking forward to breakfast at the Mugg & Bean and a quick restroom break. We both had delicious omelets, accompanying mine with a small pot of Rooibus tea while Tom added a strawberry shake to his breakfast. Now I know why Tom likes to eat breakfast at the Mugg & Bean. It’s all about the shake.
The day was young, and after a quick trip to the Sunset Dam to check for more wildlife, we turned around and headed back the way we’d come in. I wanted to leave ample time to do today’s post when we returned, fold yesterday’s laundry hanging outside on the rack, and prep for dinner, none of which I’d started when we bolted out the door at 8:30 am.
The workers arrived to work on the new inverter system, which should be done by the end of the day tomorrow. We won’t notice load shedding with this new system in the future. Tomorrow morning we’ll head to the immigration office in Nelspruit to submit our documentation, again being out of the way of the workers since we expect to be gone for four or five hours. Besides, the post will be completed and uploaded later, such as today.
On the return drive to the Crocodile Bridge gate, we were gifted with a sighting of these two same females eating their kill, which must have occurred between our first and second sighting. Wow! We couldn’t believe our eyes. As we often say to one another under these circumstances, “Who would have thunk?” Who gets to see this stuff in their lifetime? We feel so lucky!
Over the next few days, we will post more photos, but we decided to share the lions first, which were the most exceptional sightings in our minds and, certainly, the day’s favorites.
We were gone less than six hours on a perfect weather day, cooler and overcast, ideal for sightings. Once we returned, at least a dozen animals were waiting for us. Since we stay home a lot, they couldn’t imagine where we were. Immediately, I started cutting vegetables and apples for Nina, Norman, their baby, and all the others. Even the mongooses were waiting for us. Quickly, while they waited, squeaking in their usual funny little tones, I chopped paloney for them. They couldn’t have been more enthused.
It was a good day all around, and it’s not over yet!
Photo from one year ago today, January 330, 2022: