We climbed up a fire break in the woods and made our way down the other side, as we could see the park getting closer it was a strange feeling of disappointment that we didn't see any wildlife but also one of "phew" we have made it back safely. We crossed the electric fence back into the park and as Dwayne unloaded his guns we all breathed a sigh of relief and headed in for our well-earned breakfast. Another outdoor shower to get rid of the dust and check for ticks and we packed and made our way to the main lodge ready to meet our driver for the next part of our trip and as Dwayne and the other rangers came to wave us off we hit the road and headed south to Sabi Sabi.
It was pitch dark as Al swung off the road once more, telling us we were going to see a rare white-tailed Mongoose. We headed across the scrub until we could see the lights of one of the other vehicles in the distance (the rangers keep in constant contact so that they can share sightings, but they keep the vehicles to a maximum of 3, any others have to wait a couple of miles away before being invited to join as another leaves) In the dim spotlight I could see a silhouette, but it was definately NOT a Mongoose of any kind, it was the unmistakeable profile of a male Lion!
Excitement and nerves all rolled into one as we approached quietly, so we didn't spook them (oh yes, there were 6 in all!!) Jack shone his torch on to their bodies. It was absolutely magical until the alpha male decided to go walkabout and then I suddenly felt very exposed but still the adrenaline was tingling! It was obvious they hadn't eaten as they were all looking a bit skinny and were prowling around, fingers crossed we see them again once they have been sated - it might be a bit more relaxed!
We got back to the lodge just in time for dinner, and as we settled into our seats at the boma (outdoor dining area), the chef came out to tell us what was on the menu. Our starters and soup were served at the table and then we went up to the cooking stands for our main course. In the end I settled for an Ostrich steak and a small Kudu steak with salad and some vegetables. We drank the lodges' own fabulous red wine and re-lived the days adventures with Al, who hosted our table.
After such an eventful day we were all shattered so Al escorted us to our suites (rangers must accompany guests back to their rooms after dark as the lodge is not fenced and you might bump into an animal or 2!). Up at 5am again tomorrow for a morning drive, night night all xxxx