Since the match on Sunday we have had the chance to see the Entabeni wildlife reserve our hotel offer lot’s of activities to allow you to get up close to it’s residents. The park is home to the ‘Big 5’, which are reasonably easy to see. On Monday afternoon we went out on our first game drive and quickly saw White Rhino, Elephants, Giraffes, Warthogs, and Gazelles.
The Rhinos are very inquisitive and came right up to the 4×4 to see what we were up too, a little unnerving for us Brits! We didn’t see a Rhino in Tanzania last year, here it was the easiest thing to see.
We dropped down into the lower plains and soon found a pride of lions, including a very large male – by this time it was dusk, which made it very difficult to photograph them. We found Zebra and Wildebeest at this level too, I guess that’s why the Lions were here. Darkness falls quickly here, and we made our way back to the lodge where a BBQ with gorgeous Lamb awaited us. After watching some African dancing we found a good seat in front of the fire to watch the Germany v Australia game, which for me has been the best game so far – why can’t England play like that!
Next morning we got up early for a much needed run (the rangers took us outside the park!) before breakfast. We then did a bushwalk with a couple of the rangers, who explained the basics of tracking, local plants, and how to analyise the animal dung! It was a lovely warm day, but this was the only time we were allowed to walk anywhere, hence the guns!
In the afternoon we went out on Quad bikes around the reserve. We started with a short safety briefing on what to do if we encounter any animals – although our guides said they didn’t expect to bump into any. The quads were pretty powerful and proved to be good fun.
About half way round the reserve our guide stopped and jumped nerviously off his quad and went into the bush – we quickly followed – we had run into four Rhinos including one baby! At first we thought they had stopped to let us have a look at the Rhinos, but we soon picked up they were worried. We couldn’t just drive past them as our guide explained that we wouldn’t be able to drive the quad quick enough! After a 20 minute standoff, during which we identified a few tree’s and rocks we would climb if need be, a 4×4 was called to put a barrier between us and the Rhinos. We jumped in whilst the guides moved the quads to a safe distance back the way we came so we could contine back to the lodge. On return to base the guides seemed pretty relieved, describing it as 9 out of 10 on the danger scale!
We weren’t put off though and headed out on the late afternoon game drive, and we were glad we did as we managed to catch sight of a Cheeta as dusk set in, very lucky 🙂 At a safe distance we stopped for a beer, it had been a fun and interesting day!
In the evening we were served a delicious meal, we have eaten like Kings here, and watched the Italy v Paraguay game – typical dull game featuring Italy!
Tuesday has been less dramatic, we started with some fly fishing at a lake – home to Hippos but no fish it seemed as we didn’t even get a bite! In the afternoon we went on a boat trip around the lake for a closer look at the Hippos, although we only saw the top of their heads popping up out of the water!
The park has a golf course, which includes a famous 19th hole which is played from the top of the rock in the photo below – a helicopter flies you up and down (costs a few bob though).
It was pretty windy and a lot chillier than the day before, we are reminded it is winter here – really cold, so the afternoon has been spent in the lounge watching the footy. The big TV and open log fire has been fantastic!
Unfortunately tomorrow we head for home, our brief encouter with South Africa is coming to an end. We have had a great time, the experiences at Entabeni (I would recommed it as a place to visit) have been an added bonus to the experience of the England game. It will be nasty watching the next England game on the TV knowing we were in South Africa, but we have also been very lucky to have experienced a buzzing South Africa during the World Cup.