King's Camp Private Game Reserve
Trip Start Jun 09, 2013
96Trip End Nov 15, 2013
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To summarize the way the safari lifestyle works is: you eat, you drink and you look at animals. The days are jammed packed and the schedule is:
- 5:30am - Wake up
- 5:45am - Coffee/Juice/Muffins
- 6:00am - Morning Game Drive
- 9:00am - Coffee/Muffin Break
- 10:30am - Two Course Breakfast (Cold Buffet and order Hot Meal)
- 11:30am - Day Hike
- 1:30pm - Three Course Lunch
- 3:30pm - Afternoon Game Drive
- 6:30pm - Evening Drinks and Snacks
- 8:00pm - Three Course Dinner
The game drives were awesome! There were tons of animals throughout the reserve and we knocked off the "Big 5" pretty quickly. The "Big 5" consists of Rhinos, Elephants, Leopards, Cape Buffalo and Lions. The name was derived from hunters because they are the most dangerous animals to hunt. For instance, the Hippo is not on the list because although they are the deadliest animal, they run right into the water after they are shot.
Some of the highlights of the different things that we saw experienced on the game drives consisted of:
- Mother leopard with her two cubs and an impala kill.
- 25+ baby hyenas that were curious about the vehicle and literally coming up to it and chewing on the tires.
- Male elephant looking to mate.
- The same mother leopard with her two cubs and an impala kill up in the tree with hyenas circling underneath.
The mornings and evenings were extremely cold (approx 9 degrees Celsius) and with wind in your face during the drives made it a little uncomfortable. Luckily they had blankets in the vehicles and "warm water pads" in the mornings to help keep it comfortable.
During the day it was pretty hot (approx 27 degrees Celsius). This involved wearing short sleeves and luckily there are no mosquito at this time of year. I had already begun taking my malaria pills at the direction of my travel clinic doctor (woops!) and will therefore continue to take them for the remainder of my trip. They haven't been a problem on my stomach either.
The amount of food we are expected to consume is absolutely ridiculous, we can never stop eating. We basically have 6 meals a day and never the same thing twice. The breakfast is a cold buffet with cereals, yogurts, pastries, cold meats and cheeses and then there are hot breakfasts you are supposed to order like eggs benedict, omelets, or french toast. The lunches are three courses with several appetizer choices, lunch choices and deserts (and even a fresh fruit smoothie on top of that). Dinner is another three courses. Then before the game drive there are muffins or pastries, at the morning break there are a different type of pastry and the afternoon break there are snacks like game jerky or chicken wings. On top of that add in mimosas in the morning, coffee/hot chocolate mix with Amarula Lapa (South African liquor), vodka iced teas and beers drinks at lunch and then wine in the afternoon breaks and at dinner. There have been several times it has just been too much and we have to skip the meal or break as a group.
Our group is 11 people total. I only knew 7 before the trip, but after spending some time with the others, they definitely right in; we have quite the cast of characters. There is a lot of teasing and joking that occurs which makes it quite entertaining, but I am sure we must be obnoxious to the guides, trackers, lodge staff and other guests. Hopefully we will be able to make it the full 10 days without throwing someone off the vehicle when some lions are around.