We arrived quite late at Thanda Safari Tented Camp yesterday but fortunately still in time for the game drive. Did not see much last night except the normal like some giraffe, nyala, impala, zebra, buffalo, elephant, lots of birds and maybe one or two other animals I forgot to mention. On our game drive this morning our tracker, Lucky, found some lion spoor and the whole process of tracking began. Then our vehicle broke down! While Martin, our guide, tried to engage 4X4 mode to go up a steep hill the gearbox got stuck in neutral and that was the end of our tracking fun. Martin called for help via radio and while we waited, Lucky guided another vehicle via radio to where they could pick up the spoor and see if they could find the pride. While we waited Martin and Lucky entertained us with bits of Zulu culture, their training and careers and even more about the vegetation and insects around us. We did not wait long for rescue and as we transferred to a replacement vehicle we got the news that the pride was sighted. One LARGE male, three females and seven cubs of about seven to nine months old. And that was the end of the game drive! We just sat and observed these amazing creatures. Most wonderful morning. There are many Big 5 reserves in South Africa, many places offer luxurious tented accommodation. But you will have to go a long way to find a Martin and Lucky combination. Please make a plan and visit these two dudes!
Now a bit more about chilling at lodges:
We found (personal opinion) that sometimes staying over at lodges can actually be tiring. Wake up, rush for game drive, rush for breakfast, a bit of chill time, rush for lunch, a bit of chill time, rush for afternoon/evening game drive, rush for a long dinner that usually only starts long after our normal bedtime. We know one is not obliged to participate in all of this but believe you me: game drives make you hungry and eating makes you feel like going on a game drive :-). So we learned to make the best of our chill times and simply chill! In that way, our stays at lodges actually turned into very pleasant times for us, instead of the dreaded “keep-eye-on-the-watch”, “what-time-do-we-have-to-be-there-again” kind of experiences.