I woke up at 5:30 to head to the breakfast den for a quick cup of tea and some muffins before heading out for a short walk around Marc’s Treehouse Camp. Apart from the regular sighting of nyalas, we saw no other animals on this walk; but learned a great deal about the flora and fauna of the area. I did get to witness a beautiful sunrise though.
Joined by about a dozen banded mongooses (mongeese?) at breakfast
After returning to the cabin to pick up bags, it was off for breakfast before starting our return to Johannesburg. Email addresses were swapped, goodbyes were said to those that were staying or going in other vehicles, and we made the journey to see the Three Rondavels and the Blyde River Canyon. On the journey in the van, I heard the news that Robin Williams had died. Not exactly the way I wanted to end a safari.
The Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world and apparently the greenest. I don’t know if this last statement is fact or not, but I’ll leave you with some photos and you can decide for yourself. Yes, that is me in one of them.
I was staying in Johannesburg with friends for a couple of nights and they agreed to meet me at the airport. We had a dinner out that first night, and the next day we went to the lion park near Johannesburg. My friends had lived in the area for the better part of 30 years and had never visited the park. The park is huge in size and you need to remain in your vehicle at all times. The animals in the park have been orphaned or healed, and a return to their natural environment would probably see them die quickly, so the park was set up to keep these beautiful animals alive as long as they can. They have lions, cheetahs, rhinos, giraffe, all sorts of antelopes, and warthogs that wander the park. The lions and cheetahs are kept away from each other and the food that could be classified as prey though.
There is a smaller zoo-type area where you can up close and personal to a pair of lion cubs and the oldest cheetah in the park. They have other animals as well – mainly big cats – and some of them are not native to Africa. The pygmy hippos are always fun to watch and observe.
I have been to Africa before, and seen many of these animals before, but I will never tire of it. Each day brings something different. But it is more than that. I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors. I’ve always loved trying to spot the wild animals when I’d go fishing or camping in the foothills and mountains when I was younger. I got really good at it. And I love doing it in Africa as well. Some are easier to find than others. And some just don’t want you to see them at all. But every one brings a smile to my face. And every one makes me want to see another one. And when the sun goes down and your sight fades, the ears take over and propel you through the symphony of Planet Earth.
I think I might have to return to Africa one more time before I leave the Middle East. And I know I’ll be just as excited when I do go.