African December Safari

We just got back from our African safari. Our family and Uncle Scott’s family stayed Monday through this morning at game park lodge. Oh my word! What a treat it was. First of all, I had no idea what to expect. In my mind, I was thinking that it might be like Kruger National Park where guests stay in a rondovel, which is a round hut with a thatched roof, and there would be no electricity.

So when we arrived, we were greated by waving and smiling staff. When we got out of the car, the staff took care of our luggage. Then they guided us to the main lodge, where they handed us refreshing drinks. We were allowed to check out the four lodges where the eight would sleep. The three of us Stopford kids were running around scoping the place out. Not much longer after we arrived, Uncle Scott and the rest arrived there too. After we all got some food in our tummies, which was absolutely delicious, we met our ranger, Henny, who took us out for our first evening game drive. What an experience.

The next morning, we woke up at five and all met in the common lodge for coffee and tea before our drive. The sun rises earlier in South Africa compared to the sunrise in Florida. (Many people rise with the sun over here) We saw mulitple game. Because of all the rain South Africa has had the past months, the animals have been having their babies. So we saw many warthog families and impala (a type of deer) with their young. Our first encounter with one of the big five* which was a black rhino. The black rhino is not black at all. (There was a mishap in naming the rhinos because there is also a white rhino which named because of a miscommunication of the Afrikaans word “wyd” which was being used to describe the rhino’s upper lip.) We also saw cheetah, baboons, zebra, and a terrapin*. That was only our morning drive. Everyday after our morning drives, we would come back and stuff our faces with breakfast around 9:30 and relax until our night drive which started at four in the afternoon and we would come back close to eight. On the Monday night drive, I was the designated spotter and I was able to find a bushbaby and a mongoose.

During our breaks in the afternoon, we would be lazy and take naps or sunbathe by the pool. Our lodge was placed right next to a watering hole and many times there were animals making their way down to the water to find some mud to lay in or just to simply get something to drink.

*** I’m falling asleep, so I will try to finish this post tomorrow.


*Big Five – African game: Elephant, rhino, water buffalo, lion, and leopard.
*Terrapin – African reptile – turtle

Hold me close, Africa, fill my soul, Africa
Let me grow old, Africa, let me in
Fill my soul, Africa, don’t let me go, Africa
Let me grow old, Africa, and remember me
– Johnny Clegg


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brian Perconti, Sr.
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 18:43:19

    So jealous — I loved tea time on safari!


  2. bobmarye
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 02:14:51

    What an amazing trip!


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