Monday, May 2, 2016

Our Little Corner of the World, visiting Singita Reserve in Kruger National Park, South Africa!!!

Early mornings are not my forte...
but when you're in early morning Game Drive is one of the best parts of the day!!!

This is the main gathering area of Lebombo Lodge in Singita
which is a private "concession" in Kruger National Park. 
Essentially, it's a smaller, private game preserve within the National Park.
The Singita game drives are the only ones allowed on this property whereas in the rest of Kruger
it is a National Park and open to the public.  
Kruger National Park is roughly the same size as Israel. 

The Lebombo Lodge, in Singita, is spectacular! 
Now...we've stayed in some pretty nice places...but I have to say, this one out did them all!!!
Our CapeTown guide, Michael, told us it's really a 6 star lodge!  And I would agree!

Our room was essentially an African style bungalow with sleeping area, living area, bath, 
and a private deck.  Unfortunately, for as many photos as I took on this trip...
I didn't get any of our bungalow!!!
The bungalows were spread out and quite removed from the main public areas.
There were boardwalk paths from our room to the main areas which we could traverse at will
during the daylight hours... night, we had to call for a guide to walk with us as you never knew what lurked in the bushes!
We never did come across anything too dramatic walking, 
although there was a Kudu by the path once.
At any rate...after a light morning snack, we took off with our guide and tracker...

Now...if you think this looks familiar, it's the same tree and birds as from the sunset the night before!
These birds rather like this spot!!!

This is Daniel...our Tracker!
He kept his eyes on the terrain, looking for animals...

Our first sighting of the day was this lone Wildebeast.

Soon...we saw giraffes...
which was an important find, because Addison,
our youngest grand daughter, loved giraffes and asked to see pictures of giraffes when we went!
Sooo...Dan took lots of photos of giraffe on his iPhone to send to Addie!

...and of course...I took lot's of giraffe pictures!!!

They're such cool animals...
if you look closely at the above two photos you might notice the gait of the giraffe while walking...
Can you tell that both legs on the same side move together?  
They're the only animal that does that!!! 

Sooo...after the giraffe...we came across this rhino and her baby!

They were quite cooperative in their posing....

Every now and then we'd come across another vehicle from the Singita drives...
I admit it...there's a heck of a lot of lens envy in this shot!!!

Turns out this was more than just mom and her baby!

They are such awesome animals.
Very prehistoric looking, don't you think?
They are endangered because poachers like them...
the Rhino horn is considered quite valuable in traditional Chinese medicine.
Valuable to the tune of about $60,000 on the black market for a Rhino horn.
Now...I've done acupuncture for close to 30 years...yeah...really!
And my first experience was with a Korean surgeon who came to the states after the Korean war.
He was so grateful to the US for what we did for them in the war that he came to the US and 
set up practice in Garden Grove charging just a nominal fee for his services.
The wall in his office was like the library catalogue of yesteryear.
Lot's of tiny drawers, each with a different medicinal herb or product.
For all I know, he had Rhino horn in one of those drawers.
I've found Oriental medicine to be quite effective so I'm not going to argue that
there's no validity to the claim of medicinal value in the Rhino horn...
I am TOTALLY against poaching or any other form of hunting of these magnificent animals
that endanger their existence, for ANY reason.
They are absolutely amazing...

 For both the morning and afternoon drives we would have a short stop to stretch our legs, visit a bush, have a cup of coffee in the morning, or a glass of wine or beer in the evening. 
Our guide and tracker was an awesome team.  I remember the trackers name, well, because... was Daniel!!!
But I'm totally blanking on our guide's name.
Each of the driver/guides were well educated in wild life, ie: Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
Daniel, our tracker, told me that he learned to track from his grandfather 
starting when he was just a little kid.  
He also told me that his goal was to become a full fledged guide.
The guides have to pass exams at several different levels.  
Daniel told me that he was on his next to last level.

 We were there in August which is the tail end of their Winter and beginning of their Spring.
It was the dry season as well.  Very different than what I was expecting!
I guess I watched too many Tarzan movies as a kid!!!
The climate and terrain was actually quite similar to California...
Actually, for game drives, the Winter season is the best time to go
as there is less water available for the animals, so they tend to congregate where there is water.

That's our row, up on the top, with a great view!!!

To visit more little corners of the on the image below!


  1. Wow - fabulous shots! What a great experience.

  2. Best experience of my life so far!!!

  3. Lebombo Lodge looks like a beautiful place to stay. And great shots of the animals. Stunning!

    Alex's World! -

  4. What a beautiful place to be in... and what magnificent animals!

  5. great photos and great adventure !

  6. Thanks all!!! It was a magical experience!!!

  7. Thanks for the fantastic photos and words from your great trip. It looks like the place you stayed were very nice.

  8. That lodge is absolutely spectacular! Wow! I love your giraffe and rhino photos! Beautiful!

  9. Wonderful pictures! Wonderful place.

  10. Awesome adventure and a great trip. Beautiful photos

  11. Thanks all!!! The Game Drives were my absolute favorite part of the trip...everything else paled in comparison!

  12. The Kruger is one of our favorite places of the world. There are people who say that hunting of rhinos must stay allowed as they otherwise don't get bred anymore in the private reserves. To breed them is hugely expensive because of the whole security against poaching etc. The private game farm makes the money to breed the rhinos by having some of them shot (rich people seem to pay 10'000s to be able to should the rhino). It makes me sick if I think of it. #OurWorldTuesday

  13. I love the open top safari vehicles, now I want to go on another safari! #OurWorldTuesday

  14. Wow! Magnificent images and great coverage of this adventure!

  15. Africa is grabs your heart in ways no other country/continent in the world can. I think it is because it is touches our inner primal being.


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