Thursday, April 26, 2012
Fifth Night - Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
Elephant - check Leopard - check Lion - check Rhino - chec... (just it's back) Remains the African buffalo that I do not have much desire for, I rather see giraffe and zebra at this point. It is amazing here is Sabi Sabi Game Reserve. The brush, the tree, the weather, the smells, the sounds. It is indeed a very close experience of the wild. We arrived at Nuespirit airport yesterday and took a two-hour shuttle ride to the gate of the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve. From there we got into 10-passenger jeeps and got transferred to the lodge itself. The entrance to the lodge is through a channel going down to the ground that leads to the main gates. Then as you pass the entrance Gates the field opens up in front of you with a pond with rocks and waterfalls which is the lobby. There are dining rooms and tea rooms and bar at the left and right sides. To get to your lodge you need to go past the main lobby and gathering areas. Then the buildings end and you need to walk a while to get to the first lodge. The lodges are detached. From outside they look like a dome. The you step in and submerge into an all natural habitant for human. The walls are made of clay, the chandeliers made of branches, many of the decorations are made of wood or weeds. There is a small pool in front of the lodge with chairs that resembles the silhouette of an animal. There is a sketch pad and a set of pastels and coloring oil in one of the drawers. It feels very serene. Albeit there is the concern of all the spiders and scorpions and insects all the time. You have to inspect every corner it feels and check the bed before claiming under the blankets. We had a game ride this morning after a 5:30AM wake up call. It was really neat watching an elephant turning over trees to feed from the roots; I wished for a lion and we got to see a coalition of two males and a probe of six cubs. We saw kudus, dwarf mongoose, hammerhead bird, thermite net, and many different kinds of birds and butterflies. We returned after three hours and after breakfast took a game walk around the lodge. I was most concerned with the tics. We walked by a pond very close to the lodge that houses a crocodile and a hippo; we examined different plants and watched butterflies and got lectures on feces. It was a very unique hike of a life time. I skipped lunch since I couldn't sleep much at all last night and chose to take a nap instead. So far in every ride I made a wish and it got granted: last night I wished to see a leopard, we saw one with a kill, this morning i wished for a lion, we saw two with a pride, this afternoon I wished for a giraffe, and boom, the first animal we spotted was a beautiful male giraffe posing for us while munching on trees. Oh and we saw a dozen rhinos, at one spot there were two rhinos and an elephant came to toy with them, fanning his ears at them to show his majesty. Rhino - CHECK At night we had a tour of the stars, the sky of the nights is magnificent. Dinner venues was very cool too with African music and a dance performance by an all male team, may be a hunting story. M described it accurately: overwhelming! This whole trip seems surreal, so amazing, unique, and luxurious. I am grateful.