Day 361 of 400: Impodimo Safari Lodge, afternoon game drive (5 of 6) – Madikwe, South Africa
As we walked down the pathway from our bungalow towards the pool we heard loud growling and movement. We stopped in our tracks and listened…it had to either be a lion or elephant and it was really close…we started slowly backing up which is what the ranger told us to do if in the presence of a lion. The growling and grunting continued and we could also hear water, then we saw the little clip-spring deer standing in the middle of the walkway staring in the same direction in which the noise was coming from.
Then we thought…if it were a lion, these little miniature deer would be running not staring in the direction of the noise, so we started walking towards the pool again slowly. We walked up to the pool and sure enough there was an elephant drinking water straight out of the pool!! How cool is that?? We of course started video taping immediately. There was a line of about 5 of them…they were taking turns getting a drink of water. There were a couple of baby elephants learning how to stick their trunks over the pool wall for a refreshing drink. We of course got pictures and were so amazed these elephants were just walking through the woods up the hill and over to our pool to quench their thirst. We asked about the chlorine in the water and were told their stomachs are so strong…it is no problem for them. Who knew…you could just lay out at the pool and share the water with elephants, now this you really don’t see everyday!
After the elephants, we saw about 50 or so baboons, some with babies on their backs running through the lodge property over by the “observation deck”. They would stop and look at us, walking down to the little pond and then run away…it was cute how they all stuck together in one group.
After our pool time, we got cleaned up…ate some snacks at the “tea time” buffet and then jumped in the jeep for our afternoon drive. This is our last evening safari drive! We have one more in the morning and then will be on our way to Argentina…first stopping in Amsterdam.
As we climbed into the car…we realized it was extremely hot this evening. We first drove over to where the pride of 8 young lions were, last time we saw them they were under the moonlight waiting to be fed. This time, they were all still in the same area sleeping and playing around with each other, but still waiting for their moms to get back with a meal.
Before driving over to the big lake to see if any animals were there…we saw another kudu which had such beautiful horns and a black rhino. When we pulled up to the lake area, we saw that same lioness that was just there the other day…this time, she was very close to the jeep. We turned the car off and just watched her. The Ranger explained that she was probably hanging around and spraying her scent to let a dominant male lion know she was ready to reproduce. She was staring right at us but was completely relaxed, the area she picked to find her lover was a perfect one. The mountains…the lake…the bush…the sun-setting…she was setting up her romantic evening, now she only needed the male!
The sunset was absolutely gorgeous with orange and pink hues in the sky. We pulled over to have our evening drink and take in the scenery. We saw the cute spotted hyena again laying in the grass and then took the jeep off the road and into the bush to see if the other lioness with her two cubs were still near the kudu they had killed a couple of days ago. We pulled up and sure enough, the lioness, her two cubs and the young male were all near the kudu although they had moved it a bit out-of-the-way in between a couple of trees. The hyena’s had probably challenged her to the meal and she moved it. The cubs were so cute playing around with each other between picking on the carcass.
We got some more pictures of our favorite lions and then drove back to the lodge. We stopped in the dark and saw a spotted eagle and then managed to get a picture of an owl perched on a tree branch…probably hunting for food. We enjoyed our last dinner in South Africa and then went back to our room to get a good night’s sleep.