After a hearty lunch and an afternoon relaxing, it was soon time for tea. Yes, the unrelenting pace continues! One again, Thandi had prepared a magnificent spread and feeling somewhat stuffed, we set off on our afternoon drive as planned. Jacob said we were going in search of hippos tonight, and hopefully we'd come across those lions again.
We set out in rather cooler weather today than it was yesterday. No bad thing, perhaps.
First stop was to let a little family of warthogs run on ahead. Somehow, I have quite a few photographs of animals' rear ends!
Just around the corner, this magnificent kudu was standing in a clump of trees, hiding from us really, because he's rather shy. We just got our pictures in time, for in mere seconds, he was off.
Soon, we were at the pond where a family of hippos was soaking in the water. Jacob decided to go around the other side, so we could take photographs with the sun behind us.
As we drove around the corner, someone was waiting...
watching... Ugh. Aren't crocodiles the most evil looking creatures?
Anyway, I look a series of photographs of the hippos, or at least, a series of dark lumps in the water which can be identified by those who know as a mother, a five month old, another mother and a four day old baby (not all in the same photo) I'll post just the one here...enough, I think.
As we were stopped, watching the hippos bob up and down in the water, there was a growl and Grandfather hippo appeared, telling us in no uncertain terms that we were unwelcome.
He even bared his teeth at us - the few that he had left, that is.
Perhaps it was time to go.
Looking down one of the side tracks, Carlos had spotted a bunch of vultures. That might mean something interesting was going on down there, so we made a quick turn and went to see.
Oh yes...four lionesses were relaxing in a clearing with the fresh carcass of an impala at the base of a nearby tree. A young lioness was taking care of it and had her eyes on those vultures.
The fourth lioness was flat out asleep, totally disinterested in the goings on.
The youngster was watching those vultures which were by our Land Cruiser, inching nearer now and again.
Eventually, she stood up and scampered towards them - and us - me! - and shooed them away. Wow! She stared at us all and slowly returned to the safety of the family.
The ladies looked on admiringly. Gorgeous, aren't they?
We could have stayed and watched all night, but Jacob had alerted other people in the area and as soon as another vehicle arrived, we moved on.
It was time for our sundowners, anyway.
A round of G&Ts in the beautiful setting of the bush gave us time to reflect on what we'd seen. How great was that?!
The night was young, though, so off we went again, to see what else we could find.
Look what Carlos spotted next! Two "lumps in the road" turned out to be the same two lions we'd seen last night.
My little camera is clever, but it doesn't work magic and managing both zoom and low lighting at the same time doesn't result in the best quality photos. But I had to share these.
Once more, we alerted others to their presence, once we'd had our fill of looking at sleeping lions that is. But just as we were about to leave, someone woke up!
He yawned, gave a little stretch and then settled back down. His friend was still totally gone, probably as a result of having eaten too much, said Jacob, noting the size of his tummy!
Leaving him to lick his paws and wait for his chum to wake up and get on with it, we turned around and headed for home.
As we drove, we were chatting about how giraffes sleep. Jacob's answer was, they don't really. They fold their legs underneath them but keeping their neck upright (they have very high blood pressure and can't put their head down as a result) they doze for no more than about 20 minutes at a time.
As if by magic, there were a couple doing exactly that just around the corner, with a couple of zebras there acting as lookouts.
As we headed back to the camp, Carlos spotted a bush baby too, but really, that was altogether too much of a challenge to even think about photographing. I put my camera away for today then and joined our group for dinner around the fire, where yet more of Thandi's cooking was on offer - heaven knows how we find room for so much food! We have one more drive at 6am tomorrow, which means another 5am wake up call.
So you know what than means now, don't you?