5am wake-up calls.
Bush walks in the mid-morning.
More safari's in the afternoon...
This is what a full day at the lodge consists of. At the very least, Kapama staff keeps you busy and constantly on the go. Good or bad, they ensure you get a full experience while you're here. Even as I write this entry, my eyes are fighting to stay open,
But, I'm not complaining, my time here has been extraordinary. Yesterday, I went on an actual bush walk with our assigned ranger, Joe. Apparently, not all the rangers have the necessary skill set to lead expeditions on foot, there are perhaps 2 or 3 other rangers that can. So, in this case its a voluntary experience...
In hindsight, had I known what I was volunteering to do, I might not have been so quick to participate. It wasn't until our Ranger pulled out his rifle, and started loading it, when I realized that this isn't necessarily about fun and games. The risks and the potential rewards are extremely high. In the pics below, I've included the image of what we were tracking...a lioness (the image was from the safari drive earlier in the morning).
Thankfully, by the time we reached the spot where the lions were spotted, they had already departed. The walk to get there however, was the most intense, nerve racking, experiencing of my life. I didn't have the protection of a vehicle. There were all sorts of strange noises surrounding me. And, our ranger was carrying a loaded weapon... clear indication that something could try to eat me!
Walking through the bush, the first thing to hit you is the silence. There are no engines running, people talking, electrical devices, just you and the savanna (with man eating lions waiting to get you).
Perhaps as a way to break the tension, or just add to the experience, the Ranger would stop occasionally to show us something cool, like an African spider that lives in a hole in the ground, which also happens to be as large as a tarantula. Or, encouraged us to hold a millipede, which had to have been 6 to 8 inches long. And embarrassingly enough, had us participate in an Africaaner tradition, dung spitting (...please, don't ask). However, the most important bit was the crash course on what not to do if we encounter danger (for example, don't run from the danger, but feel free to scream).
After it is was all said and done, I survived the walk, didn't scream, and eagerly sat at the front of the jeep during the afternoon game drive.
Overall...I can't wait to do this again ;-)
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