Friday Flashback: Safari

Our last days spent in Africa were on safari. If you're going to fly 15+ hours on a plane, you might as well get to see some wildlife while you're there.

We left Gaborone, Botswana and headed south to...South Africa.
Roadside goats

After going through the border and getting our passports stamped, we eventually reached the gate to the game reserve.

Madikwe Game Reserve

The Big Five: lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, black rhinoceros

Driving into the reserve (on a winding, bumpy road in a mini-van) we spotted our first game!

My reaction:

The giraffe might have been my favorite!

Female kudu


Like out of a storybook, and we haven't even checked in yet!

Roadside fence on the reserve

Our group heading to check in, you can see the tops of the "cabins"

The Daddy, me, Ken, Jamie, Jenifer and Barrett

The thatched roof! THICK!

Jenifer and me on the coolest giraffe couch

Our retreat

Light fixture in the bathroom

Shower outside

This fellow walked by our room to get to the water hole.

There he goes. They walk quietly. Very quietly.

Viewing area at the water hole


Our group for a late lunch outside, Pastor Norman at the head of the table

Getting ready to eat GOURMET food in the middle of nowhere!

More fun down at the water hole:

Me heading up the path to our cabin, getting ready to head out on our first ride into the savannah

We took two of these open air trucks, complete with stadium seating.

First we ran into these two brothers.

Can you see them laying down in the grass behind me? WE WERE VERY CLOSE!

This boy stood up to check out the noise coming from the neighboring water hole.

Our friends Jamie and Ken

Then we encountered a herd of Cape buffalo. They came close!

After the herd, we had a "sundowner." Meats, cheeses and drinks for an appetizer to dinner in the middle of the savannah!

Our favorite drink on safari, the Grapetiser~not available in the US

Our mission team at sunset

After the sun crept behind the hills, we ran across a herd of elephants. The ride was too bumpy to get a good shot with not much light.

Then later, we ran across this guy and his friend asleep in the road. These were the older couple of lions who used to rule until the younger brothers we saw earlier pushed them out of dominance.
Our guides shined the headlights on them for pictures, and we eventually had to go off-road to get around them.

Owl eyes

It became very dark, very quickly so we headed back for showers and dressed for dinner.

Then our next gourmet meal was served:

The next morning we headed out before the sun came up.

African sunrise:

Poor fellow had an itch!

Rhino mama and her calf

After seeing the giraffe and rhino, our guides set off on foot to locate a group of female lions.

Checking tracks

We wondered, "Will we ever see them again?"

Male impala

Potty break while waiting on the guides to return

Dung~not related to previous potty break

Footprints in the earth

Never got to see the lionesses, but enjoyed some more time back at camp and found a few other forms of wildlife:

Sentinel up in the tree keeping watch:

Brenda at the watering hole watching the elephants again:

The Daddy, me, Brenda and Jeff

Our entire team again before we left for the airport back in Gaborone, Botswana

The Daddy, Nelson Mandela and me in the Johannesburg airport on layover

Mandela was made entirely of teeny, tiny beads!

Are any of you still here?

The flight back was surreal. I find it amazing that less than a year ago, I had never been on a mission trip. Now I'm wondering where we'll go next. Our new church (yes, I think we've settled on one!) does work in Africa, so it may be only a matter of time before we head out again.

In the meantime, my mission is my children, my neighbors and community and YOU!


Montye said...

Soooo neat, love the pictures!

Jamie said...

I loved this blast from the past. :) I can't believe it's been almost a year. It seems like forever and yesterday, all at the same time. Glad this awesome trip brought us together, 'cause I'm glad to know you!