Day 3 was the easiest and most difficult day to get out of bed. Easy because we were getting into the routine, but difficult because it was really cold, dark and miserable outside. It was our last morning at Gondwana though so we had to join our ranger for once last drive. And it seems we weren’t the only ones who struggled to get up! The poor eilands had a ranger’s torch shining into their eyes before sunrise as well, lol!
As we drove down the road dirt road, we suddenly stopped to find daddy lion and baby lion having some eiland carpaccio for breakfast. Funnily, I didn’t really feel sorry for the eiland (RIP eiland). For some reason it feels dignified when animals kill. You know it’s for the right reasons…
The lions disappeared into the bushes so we moseyed on to see who else had started their morning (hopefully as breakfast). We found the peace antelope in the misty grassy fields:
While we hadn’t ventured into the deep ravines of the Gondwana landscape previously, this morning we decided to go on a bit more of a bundu, right to the hill slopes. I know the German lady, who had been in our group, had really wanted to see hippos. The game ranger picked up his binoculars and said, “Yes, you can’t really see, but that isn’t a rock it’s a hippo.” I’m not going to lie, I thought he was talking ABSOLUTE hippo poop!
But then the potomous moved! Apparently they sleep with their chins on the hillside so that they can breathe and relax. This was the case here and when the hippo moved into the water, a second hippo was revealed! They had a good yawn and swam a short distance away.
After the hippos we continued back up the hill to cross over into an enclosed area. Our ranger advised us to look in the lower hanging bushes and I thought, What on earth are we looking for? Leopards don’t like muddy spots! (That was my guess.) We carried on up the hill until we found three hungry buffalo! They seemed a touch grumpy to me. Munching away on their breakfast and not in the mood for any fabulous press shots 😉
Buffalo have a really strong presence and you know they can hold their own. I enjoyed seeing them especially after watching the Africa Geographic Lion VS Buffalo video previously. We left them in peace and moved on to have our morning tea, passing this lady on the way out:
We stopped at the top of a hill for our morning tea and muffins. It was a pleasure to take in the surrounding landscape, as the sun struggled to get out of bed.
We took the road back to the main lodge, passing daddy lion again with his breakfast. Solomon had mentioned to us on the previous day’s tour that lions often drag their prey into the bushes, to keep it out of the sun to help preserve the meat as well as hide it from vultures. This is exactly what the daddy lion was doing on our way back.
Once again we were greeted by the usual spectacular Gondwana breakfast. Always a warm welcome after a morning’s adventure.
After breakfast, we took our last walk back to our Kwena hut to pack up. We found proof that elephants do pass through the camp – poop! Unfortunately we didn’t see any this time (a good reason to come back another time). 😉 It was time for us to say goodbye to Gondwana. It was a truly wonderful experience with great food, excellent staff hospitality: very warm, friendly and helpful (they take your bags to your room, etc.). I didn’t even mind that the weather had turned as it was a great opportunity to see the landscape under different light.
A HUGE thank you to Gondwana Game Reserve for having us. It was a wonderful experience and we really appreciated your warm hospitality. There were many foreign tourists at the camp and Gondwana provided a world class service and experience for them (as well as us).
Do yourself a favour and take a look at the Gondwana winter specials. The game drives don’t start as early in the morning as summer (when the sun’s up before the sparrows) and the game park have reasonable out of season rates for locals. Just four hours away, you will feel like you are far from home on a good break.
*Gondwana provided us with the 2 nights accommodation and boarding.