Never a Dull Moment: African Safari | Day 2
Miss Day 1? Read about it about here!
On day two, my alarm went off at 4.30am so that I would be ready to meet the rest of the group at reception for a cup of tea and handful of rusks before leaving at 5.15am for our bush walk. Myself and a Swedish couple were still working on European time and were ready and raring to go at 5.15am, whilst the rest had already adjusted to African time, as they knew we wouldn’t be leaving until after 5.30am.
At some point (I gave up on time keeping), we got into the safari bus to drive deeper into the reserve to start our four hour bush walk. As we were driving along, Rex shouted at Murray (our guides) to slow down and right next to the track was a small pack of lions. The male was peering out behind a termite mound, whilst a couple of youngsters who were about a year to 18 months old were playing around waiting for sunrise.
In just 12 hours, we had already managed to see three of the big five! After stopping with the lions for a long time, enjoying this wonderful sight, we slowly drove off just as the sun was rising. I have never seen such a beautiful sky in my entire life before, which also created a beautiful light to photograph some others animals that we passed.
South African Bush Walk
We eventually arrived ready for the bush walk, which everybody had forgotten about as we were so excited to have unexpectedly already passed so many animals! We got out of the safari bus and after some strict safety instructions, we all walked off single file into the bush.
Although we (luckily) didn’t see any animals whilst we were on foot, it was interesting to be able to look at the plant life so closely, as well as the insects in the bush and do a bit of bird watching.
We drove back to our lodge and were greeted by chaos, caused by the local monkeys. They had somehow managed to open one of the chalet’s windows from the outside and had had a really good rummage around inside and scattered food and belongings all over the front of the lodge! Luckily the monkeys’ victims took it in very good spirit and rescued what they could!
After we all ate breakfast together, we were given three hours before lunch would be served and thereafter we would head directly off on an afternoon game drive. After getting up so early for the bush walk, I made the most of this free time and the weather, and lounged around the pool area with some of the rest of the group.
During the afternoon, it was about 30 degrees, hence this made spotting the animals a bit difficult as they were most probably all resting in the shade somewhere. In addition to the numerous birds, antelope, zebras and family of warthog we saw, we saw for the first time giraffes and a tiny mongoose!
Treehouse Accommodations in the Bush
Once arriving back at the lodge, it was time to get into the minibus to be transferred onto our next accommodation, Marc’s Treehouse Lodge. Although I really enjoyed my stay at Tremisana in the Balule reserve, it was exciting to move onto somewhere different, especially as Marc’s Treehouse offered a very contrasting experience. At Tremisana, we all stayed in en-suite chalets in the lodge, where everything was within a short walking distance from each other. Marc’s Treehouse Lodge is situated in the Motlala reserve and as the name suggests, consists primarily of treehouses.
The accommodation is very rustic, however gives you exceptionally close contact to the scents, sounds and smells of the bush. I was playfully teased by my group, as they claimed that I had been upgraded because I had been put in the en-suite guesthouse, which was indeed very luxurious as many of the treehouses do not have bathroom facilities, but outside toilets and showers. In addition to the 12 treehouses and two guesthouses, Marc’s Treehouse also has seven tents available. Staying at the lodge is definitely not for the fearful or faint-hearted!
My guesthouse was a three minute walk from the reception area, which was beautiful during the daytime, but at night-time was very eerie, especially when walking alone through the dimly lit bush with the sounds of animals screeching nearby. Because it’s hilly and the ground is very uneven, I would definitely advise downloading a flashlight app or taking a torch with you.
The accommodation is very rustic, however gives you exceptionally close contact to the scents, sounds and smells of the bush.