We're going on a lion hunt
We're not scared.
We have a fine, super-comfortable vehicle in which to sit; there are just six of us, so we each get a window seat and it appears everyone in our group is content for my hero and I to have the dress circle. Everyone is happy!
Jacob is our guide/ranger and Carlos our spotter - though Jacob joked that he could also be our bait... Carlos sits on a seat high up on the front of the vehicle and is always on the lookout.
So when we stopped by this tree and wondered why, he pointed out the vulture sitting up there. Jacob added all kinds of interesting details - too many to go into here - but really, this pair are so very knowledgeable, we are all fascinated by their every word.
Next, Carlos spotted some footprints. Were they lion footprints?! No, sadly not. A giraffe had walked this way recently.
But there was something of interest to follow up, so Carlos went off in one direction and Jacob in the other....don't leave us!
They returned with nothing to report, so on we went, passing a pond with a spectacular wading bird there. Sorry, I have no idea what it is, though of course, we were told.
Its rather less spectacular cousin, wading in the same pond is a grey heron, I believe.
We caught sight of something up head...
which turned out to be a gnu - three gnus actually.
and a warthog.
The sun was beginning to go down by now and the next giraffe we passed looked beautiful in the golden light.
Jacob stopped the engine and we sat, listening to the sounds of the bush for a while. "Did you hear that?" he asked.
"The call of the gin and tonic".
Whilst we stood admiring the sunset, they fixed drinks from the bar, beautifully set up complete with tablecloth! With G&Ts in hand, we toasted the lions which so far had eluded us.
Having packed it all away again, we set off in the evening light, Carlos holding a spotlight which he used to scan the sides of the road.
And a few minutes later, there they were, curled up asleep in a small grassy patch.
One looked up sleepily, yawned and posed for a while. Our cameras would have clicked, had they all not been set to "silent" on Jacob's recommendation. For a good five minutes we watched as this beautiful creature gently woke himself up.
I felt frustrated by my camera's insistence on over-exposing the images, but managed a couple of nice pictures before our time was up.
One of the pair rose to his feet, stretched a little and then padded his way over in our direction, walking calmly right past my hero, sitting stock still in his seat! He came within touching distance... wow. Off into the bush then, leaving his chum still snoozing on the grass, oblivious to all the goings on.
We'd been out almost three hours by then and it was getting time to go home. Jacob stopped to watch an owl in a nearby tree for a while before calling it a day. Our aim had been fulfilled.
Back at the camp, we sat around tables with our rangers and spotters in a friendly arrangement.
We are delighted to be here, have had a wonderful time today and can't believe that less than 24 hours ago we were rocking and rolling around the Cape of Good Hope!
I wonder what we'll go looking for tomorrow?