Kruger National Park
As I suspected I am not too good at keeping up with my blog, sorry! Although I feel like the only people who may be reading are my roommates who know what I am doing every day, I would like to especially thank Luuk for having such an influence on me posting! I have a ton to write about and almost no time but I am going to squeeze in this little blurb about my safari so that I can finally get a post and hopefully kick start some constant blogging! This past Thursday we celebrated Youth Day in South Africa, I celebrated by waking up at 3am to meet a group of 11 girls to go on a Safari! Although I did not get the chance to volunteer like I had initially planned the Safari was one of the most enlightening experiences of my stay thus far! We all met at one of the houses close to mine at 4am to get a cab to the airport, the ride was fine and as everyone knows I hate flying so of course I was nervous. We flew Mango Airlines which only exists in South Africa and it’s a dinky little airline that is most likely the cheaper option of a major airline or is available at cheap prices because the founders purchased recycled jets to save on costs, not my air carrier of choice. Anyhoo we all piled onto this shuttle that brought us to the tarmac beside the plane where we had to climb the stairs into the plane and since it was raining in Cape Town when we took off everyone ran for the plane as soon as the shuttle doors opened, I felt like I was at the beginning of an action movie! The flight was great and after the slowest service in a restaurant at the airport we met our driver for the 6 hour ride from Johannesburg to Kruger. That afternoon we arrived at Balule Game Reserve where we stayed the first night at Tremisana Game Lodge, which was this quaint cottage style accommodation. The best part of the trip was how mindless and easy the staff of the Game Lodge and Treehouse Camp where we stayed the following nights were, if you are planning a safari I would absolutely recommend them! We spent the first few hours speaking to Pieter, one of the senior guides who ended up being our guide for the rest of our time! After learning so much about the bush, game reserves and why all of the areas are fenced off, the 11 girls in my group as well as a girl who arrived with us and will be spending the next 3 months working at the lodge (how cool) and Pieter drove off for a sunset cruise!
It was absolutely amazing and we got to see a good deal of animals, especially in the dark! We were all exhausted from being awake since 3am that we ended the drive a little early and set back to camp. We returned and the staff had an amazing African style dinner for us where they had a Braai (BBQ in America) for us. The food was amazing, and that meal as well as everyone to follow in the weekend was set up as 3 courses, outside next to a fire, sitting with all of the guests of the Lodge. We were all exhausted and had to wake up at 5:30 the next morning for a Bush Walk so needless to say I went to sleep earlier than I have in the past 5 years! The next day was absolutely perfect! We set out for our walk and in addition to learning what plants can help you in what survival situations and getting to see animals the highlight was the GIRAFFE POOP SPITTING CONTEST. Yes, I had giraffe poop in my mouth and had to spit it and try to get it the farthest. We all thought the guides were joking but after 4 girls went I knew it was no joke. One of the guides won and it was quite disgusting because he had the poop soaking in his mouth while the 16 others went before him. We got back to the Lodge, had a great breakfast in the Lapa then had free time, since it was so beautiful we all laid out by the pool and get a bit tan =) Later that day we had a 2 hour drive in the game reserve where we saw more animals and had a blast being out in nature! When we returned we had to get packed up then an hour drive closer to Kruger where we stayed in tree houses at Marc’s Treehouse Lodge about an hour drive from Tremisana. The Treehouse Lodge was much more spread out and rustic than our hotel style room the first night but it was a great experience! We had dinner the first night and sat around the campfire talking to the other guests and a few of the tour guides, who were not as awesome as Pieter but still very unique! We had another early morning and spent the entire next day in Kruger National Park! That night, Saturday was also an early night because we had another early walk Sunday before leaving for a touristy drive back to Jo’burg. I am too exhausted to explain all of the great experiences now, especially about smoking Elephant Poop, so as soon as I get another free moment I will edit this blog, as well as update about my past 2 weeks!