Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Safari Day 5. Bongani Mountain Lodge

Morning Drive.
Up at the usual time, the storm had cooled the air down and it was back to a comfortable temperature again.  Armed with enough mosquito repellant to cover a small army (we were on guard when it came to malaria), we head off again with Steve and Aaron.

It  was just the 4 of us today, and Steve asks us as we drive off "What do you want to see today?"
"Zebras and Wildebeest, we haven't seen any yet" says Nicole.  Aaron looks at Steve and laughs, we are not sure what that means.  So Aaron just says "We will see what we can do", and off we drive.

2 days before Cameron had borrowed Steve's mammal and bird guide books, which he read front to back during the day.  The guides were fantastic, photos of male and female of each species, footprints, poo samples and heaps of information about each animal.

We were stunned when we were driving and Cameron said, "There's a Klipspringer".  We hadn't seen one before, and he spotted it before Steven and Aaron.  Steve asked "How did you know that Cameron, that's the first one we have seen?"  He replied "I read it in your book"
We also saw:
Tree Squirrels
Kudu
Impala
Nyala
Giraffe
Daeka
White Rhino
and we found some Zebra.  The zebra were a bit skitterish, but they made the most amazing noise.  We had never heard a zebra before....they are all so quiet at the zoo!

Birdlife
Purple Crested Turaco
Southern Bobo
Red Bull Oxpecker
Blue Wax Bullbird
We enjoyed the mid morning breaks, when we found a peaceful spot and had a drink and something to eat.  The kids enjoyed listening to Aaron tell stories about different insects, grasses and other stories,

and also climbing on the rocks...but not too far away.


Afternoon Drive.
Our last drive at Bongani, we leave for Exeter in the morning.
We saw
Rhino
Giraffe
Duiker
Lions in the Boma. 
We hope that when the lions are let out of the boma that they stay around Bongani.
Steve said that the last lions they brought in from Kenya ran straight over to Kruger after they let them out of the boma, and never saw them again.  That was an expensive purchase.  There is a female lion at Bongani (although we never saw her), and the rangers have seen her at the Boma, so they are hoping once the brother are let out of the boma, they will form a pride with the female and stay around.
Birdlife
Brown Snake Eagle
Cape Glossy Starling
Blue Wax Bill
Turtledove
Woodpecker
African Hoopoe
African Cuckoo
Mouse Bird
Fiery Necked Nightjar

the kids loved sitting in the jeep while we drive around, love being off the tracks, and love it when Aaron has to get out of the truck to get us through the bush.
The boys wished they could sit in Aaron's seat while we trek around the bush. 
They enjoyed sitting in the seat when we had a break though!

We have had such an amazing time at Bongani, and would recommend it to anyone wanting to do a safari type holiday!
Thank you to everyone there who made our trip so fantastic, especially Steve and Aaron!