This is going to have to be a long blog because we have been on SAFARI and haven't had internet access for three days. So hang in there! Yesterday, we returned from Kariega Game Reserve where we spent three days and two nights. We were the first ones off the ship so that we could catch a bus to the Cape Town airport and fly to Port Elizabeth. From Port Elizabeth it was about a 1 ½ hour drive to the reserve.
We arrived at reception and were given a key to our chalet. Then we boarded 4x4's (the safari vehicles) and were taken directly to the best lunch we have had in about 5 weeks. The food was all local South African cuisine and we ate like we would never eat again. The lodge where we ate every meal while we were there sits on top of a mountain that overlooks a cleared valley below where the animals were grazing. It was breathtaking!
Next, we were taken to our chalet (you have to be driven everywhere because all the chalets are spread all over the wilderness). Again, we were pleasantly surprised! The chalet was a three bedroom, which we shared with another SAS staff member who was also the trip leader. We each had our own private bedroom and bath, there was a kitchen area, a beautiful view of the valley and a little private pool.
The weather was quite cold, but we did a total of about 12 hours in the safari 4x4 vehicle. Each safari was about 3 hours and there were 8 people in our vehicle. Our guide's name was Temba and we knew we were in for a good time when, on the very first time out, he immediately pulled of the "beaten path" for us to see a blue wildebeest and several giraffe. So we had three hours of safari and then dinner on the first day, and on the second day, we had a 5:30am wake up call for a 6:00am safari. We also had a 4:00pm safari that day and the last day we had a little more safari in the morning at 5:30am. During our free time we took a hike by ourselves on one of the trails. Although we did get several ticks, we didn't see any animals... oh well. One of the students was walking to breakfast and there was a giraffe in the middle of the road walking toward her. That is the thing that was so awesome about this place: the lodge and chalets were literally right in the middle of the game reserve so you were living amongst the animals.
It was so special for us to be able to finally see all the animals that we hunted for all day. Here is the list of animals we saw: warthog, rysbok (looks like a kangaroo), ostrich, giraffe elephant, nyala, impala, vervet monkey, common reedbuck, zebra, lion, white rhino, waterbuck, kudu rock dassie, and hippopotamus....WOW!!
On our third day we flew back to Cape Town and dropped off our things, put on some sunscreen and headed to Table Mountain. We rode a cable car 1,086 meters high, then we hiked for about 1 ½ hours to its tallest point. Table Mountain gives you the most beautiful view of Cape Town and all the surrounding areas. When we got home we were exhausted but managed to find some dinner at the V&A Waterfront. Geno had a kabob with 5 different types of meat: grysbok, water buck, kulu, eland and several others we can't remember. One of the vegetables was mashed potato with peas and mint - it might sound strange to you, but it was delicious!
-They call traffic lights "robots"
-Instead of saying hello or how are you, here they say "howzit?"