Friday, January 29, 2010

That trip.

Africa. Ah, our amazing honeymoon trip. This time three years ago we were making our way through the bush, seeing tons of wildlife, and being pampered like never before.

Brad and I have been to some really neat places in our time together. But we still, to this very week, talk about Africa on a regular basis. We want to go back so badly. We are both so glad we went when we had the chance, because we knew that we might not have another one. I surely hope we do, but if we don't, we certainly have some fabulous memories of Africa, especially our time spent at Vuyatela on Djuma Game Reserve. What a magnificent place.

The first place we stayed was the Chapungu Tented Camp on the Thornybush Private Game Reserve. It was a good start for our trip, but we were glad we stayed there first. The next place we stayed, Vuyatela, spoiled us rotten!

At Thornybush, we saw many lions.

There was a beautiful big lion we saw each day. He was amazing. We could feel his roar in our soul!

Here he is walking down the path with a big ol' belly!

Hanging out by a water hole.

A young elephant we saw.

I think the buffalo are fascinating!

The next place we went was the Djuma Game Reserve. We stayed in Vuyatela Lodge there. It was phenomenal.

Before our yummy buffet dinner one night.

This was our deck with its own little pool.

Our little cottage was simple but really nice -- with air conditioning -- yay!

This is what our room looked like when we came back from supper each night.

This was the bathroom. The shower was outside.

These little critters liked to hang out on the fence at our cottage. They came to supper too. They are real cute until they swing down onto the large family-style dinner table, swipe food off someone's plate, and scurry off into the dark!

Over the big table where we ate each meal was this gigantic chandelier made of Coca-Cola bottles. Right up my alley!

We saw lots of animals at Djuma. First thing, we saw the Sandy Patch lioness and her two cubs. Even though the reserve is not fenced and the animals roam free, they stay around in the same area for the most part. The guides have names for most of them so that they can identify them on the radios. But, the animals are completely left to be on their own to survive in the wild.

This lioness is not part of a pride. She is the last member of her pride, Safari. She defends her cubs alone. They were adorable and so much fun to watch. From the vehicle, we watched them play for over an hour.

About to pounce on his sibling!

Love tap.

Resting after play.

A few months after we left, unfortunately these cubs were killed by another pride. That's the way it goes, and the rangers do not interfere -- as much as I'm sure they would like to. I kept up with the Sandy Patch lioness for a while through the Vuyatela newsletters. I thought that I remembered that she had had some more cubs, so I searched for her name on the internet and found that she has her own Facebook group! Brad and I weren't the only ones whose heartstrings she pulled! She has over 200 fans, and I'm sure she'd have more if more Djuma guests new about the group. In the group, the lioness herself posts her happenings. It's quite interesting. There are videos as well. She had three cubs a little over a year ago, and there is one remaining as of today, a male. Hopefully the two can hold out until he gets a little bit bigger so they can again have a pride. That will be something for Brad and I to look forward to if we ever get to go back!

Hippos. Not us. Behind us.

Wild dogs. Very rare to see them.

A beautiful leopard lounging on a large limb.

During the after noon drive, we had snacks!

After snacks -- getting dark.

A leopard tortoise.

We got to visit the nearby town. We went to three schools. This little boy was so cute. Look at his teletubby tied to his back.

They sang and danced for us.

They love visitors.

The big kids loved Bradford. But all kids love him.

Pushing him around the schoolyard.

Another precious child we saw.

Last, we visited Victoria Falls. It was beautiful and a great way to end our honeymoon.


AA said...

SOOO pretty!!! What a great trip!