South Africa: Lion Sands Safari Day 3

After two days of waking up at 5:30 am we were getting used to it. The third day of our safari game drive was the most productive. We saw so many animals one after the other. 

The first animal we saw was a young Kudu, a woodland antelope. Notice the short and straight horns.

Lion Sands Safari Day 3 - Greater kudu
Greater Kudu

An adult male has large beautiful twisted horns. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3 - Greater kudu-001

Lion Sands has three treehouse on their property for those who want to go glamping and experience nature firsthand. Because no one was staying at the Chalkley Treehouse our guide Michael showed it to us. It was all covered up to protect it from the elements. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Chalkley Treehouse
Chalkley Treehouse

There’s no electricity but at least there’s running water. Lighting is provided by gas lamps.

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Chalkley Treehouse

If you stay in the treehouse you wake up to this view. Who knows what animals you can see from your bed?

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Chalkley Treehouse-001

This is what the treehouse looks all glammed up. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Chalkley Treehouse1
photo from http://www.lionsands.com

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We came across a hyena which was pretty close to our truck. We wondered why it didn’t run away. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Hyena
Hyena

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Our guide told us to look up the tree and that’s when we saw the dead antelope most likely placed there by a leopard for its meal. Some kinds of hyenas hunt for their meals but most hyenas are scavengers.  The hyena can’t climb up the tree but is patiently waiting for either the antelope to miraculously fall from the tree or for the leopard to come back and bring down the animal so the hyena can snatch it away. Boy, I would like to see that happen. 

Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Dead Antelpe

We finally saw a rhinoceros, one of the Big Five. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Rhinocerous
Rhinocerous

We were excited a leopard up in a tree in bright daylight. Check out the pictures to see how important it is to bring a camera with long zoom. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Leopard-003

I love looking at this beautiful animal. I suddenly want to buy leopard print clothes and shoes. 😀

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Leopard-004

This was how far we really were from the leopard. Thank you 30x zoom camera! 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3-013

This is Michael our guide and driver on the left. The one with the big knife is Joe our tracker with eagle eyes. He doesn’t use the knife to scare off animals but to whack branches that are in the way during a drive. If he didn’t do that he could be hit by a branch and fall off his seat in front of the truck. In his 14 years as a tracker he has only fallen off once. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Michael and Joe

Our next stop was at another portion of the Sabie river. This was one of my favorite areas of the safari. We got to see a lot of animals in one area and each one of them occupying their own place. As much as I wanted to see the whole hippo they didn’t heed my request to get out of the water.  

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Hippopotamus
Hippopotamus

A lone croc stayed on top of a rock. I wonder what would happen if the croc and hippo meet?

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Crocodile
Crocodile

I was fascinated by the different colors of the rocks in the river. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3-018

Seeing the herd of elephants cooling off in the river brought oohs and aahs from all of us. Check out the mama and two babies on the left side of the picture. Awwww…

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- A herd of elephants cooling off in the Sabie River-001

Our guide had a surprise for us. We were having breakfast in a tree deck away from the lodge. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Breakfast at Inkwazi Hide//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Breakfast at Inkwazi Hide-001

We were only two groups dining there. 

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This part of the Sabie river was dry. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Breakfast at Inkwazi Hide-004

They brought breakfast here and setup a buffet. It was a most memorable breakfast for us not only because of the venue but the food was better than usual. The pancake and scones were yummy but it was the quiche that was spectacular. Too bad there wasn’t enough for a second serving. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Breakfast at Inkwazi Hide-006
my breakfast

While on the deck our guide Michael said there was a lion across the river. It was so far away I couldn’t see a thing.  I asked him to take a picture with the zoom fully extended and true enough there was a lioness and her cub. What’s with their fantastic eyes? After breakfast we went back to the lodge for rest and lunch. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Lioness and cub

At 4:00 pm we went for the afternoon drive. We passed quite a few of these mounds which I though was simply soil but Michael said they were termite mounds. These were mound-building termites and not the termites that eat wood. These termites build a network tunnels for ventilation and look for food and water to feed the colony including the king and queen. Think ant colonies and you get the idea. I would be interested to see a cross section of a mound like this. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Termite Mound

Asides from animals and plants we also saw quite a few birds. These were the only two I was able to take a picture of. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3-031

From the road Joe said he saw a hippo in the water. What? When we drove nearer we still couldn’t see it. Gosh he really has bionic eyes. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Hippo

These mud covered African buffalos remind me of our own carabaos. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- African Buffalos
African Buffalos

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3-034

We came upon a dead nyala which was the meal of leopards who were nearby. 

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Dead Nyala//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Just like me the mother and son leopards were sleepy after feasting. We stayed watching them for several minutes and I took a lot of pictures. These were the best of them. 
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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Leopards-002

Before it went dark we went back to the tree with the dead antelope. We hit the jackpot because the leopard went back to claim his prey. And yes the hyenas were still on the ground hoping to get lucky.  

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Leopard in a Tree

This was out last cocktails in the bush. It’s just one of the things I miss about the safari.

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Lion Sands Safari Day 3- Cocktails at night

Our first two days of game drives were a bit slow. This third day was packed. We saw so many animals almost one after the other.  You don’t know what you will see at any given time. That’s how nature works and that’s beauty of going on a safari. 

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