There are several reasons we love to have company come. First and foremost is that we love them and miss them and it is just so great to be with them without a computer screen between us. Second, is that it gives us an opportunity to "Push the Pause Button" for a few days and enjoy the wonders of Africa. Matt and Loni arrived on Friday, November 21st. They were in pretty good shape since they got bumped up to First Class. Ahhh…the benefits of being a pilot! Those red eyes you see are tears of joy! Pure joy!
We were able to cram so many things in to our time with them. I will just highlight a few here. Who does not want to pet a giraffe when you come to Africa. Right? Gambit is our resident pet giraffe here. His parents were killed when he was a baby and he was raised by humans. If you look in the background you will see a tent and a car. He just hangs out with the campers and eats leaves. He is a friendly giant….well, read on. He is just checking out Matt here.
And Loni Anne gets a sloppy wet kiss from her new buddy.
Now here is where the fun begins. We told Matt that when we brought Elder Stratton and Elder Tonge to meet Gambit, Elder Stratton ran underneath him. Now, Elder Stratton is about 5'8" and weighs maybe 145. Matt on the other hand is taller and, well, let's just say larger. But how could he be outdone? So under he goes, only to startle Gambit who decides to take off on a run. All I can say is we were lucky, to just buy the drugstore out of neosporin and Epson Salts for Matt to doctor his toe up that Gambit ripped the toenail off. (I could have posted the pix of the toe, but I will save you that image in your mind). As Matt, not Gambit, came limping towards us after being kicked by a giraffe some of the campers approached us with this information. "Did you know that a giraffe can kill a lion with one kick from his leg?" Good information to have when you decide to run under a giraffe.
I have made many posts showing the wildlife in Africa. May I just say here that the beauty of these animals never grows old. My heart just wants to sing a couple of verses of "How Great Thou Art" each time we spot one. It is one thing to see these beautiful creations in a Zoo, but it is an "experience" to see them in their natural habitat. In South Africa a highlight is to be able to spot what they call "The Big Five". These are the five most dangerous animals. Ranging in size from the largest to the smallest are the Elephant, the Cape Buffalo, Rhinoceros, the Lion, and the Leopard. On our game drive at Kwantu, we were able to spot four of the Big Five. The Leopard is nearly impossible to spot since he is usually hiding in trees. Kwantu is a "circle of life" game reserve meaning all the animals are out in the open and it is kill or be killed. Our guides for the day were Freedom and Innocence.
Two things that were new for us was to see an elephant in the wild. We found out how you can tell if an elephant is ready to charge because this one charged us. It happened so fast. His ears get tucked in against his body, usually he coils his trunk in and then he trumpets! And that is just how it happened. We got a little too close and a little too loud, and this was a Mama elephant protecting her baby. Loni was filming it and was so scared she threw her camera.
Luckily our guides new just what to do and got us outa there!
Now really. Is this not majestic? Here is Mufasa….
And his pride of lions. Breathtaking!
The next day on our drive we spotted Mufassa's brother Scar with his kill for the day.
Addo Elephant Park was our destination the next day. This is a park we have been wanting to visit for a year. Matt and Loni gave us the perfect excuse. What can I say. Hundreds of elephants just roaming the jungle, in waterholes, and meandering along. This guy just walked out right in from of our car.
And look at this little baby boy with his Moma finding some nourishment that only a Mom can provide.
We even spotted a couple of lovebirds. Ahhhhh!
Well, what do you think. See any family resemblance?
We cried tears of joy when they came and a few parting tears when they left. We had a super time. You would too!