Day one of the great South Africa adventure started with a long 9 hour flight to Frankfurt Germany and since we had a 13 hour layover here we stayed on the move enjoying breakfast in Old Town Frankfurt then on to explore the Frankfurt Zoo. A partly cloudy 67 degree day made it very comfortable for our mile hike from Old Town to the zoo. We love to compare our animal habitats to other facilities around the world. Frankfurt Zoo was nicely laid out with lots to see although not at all interactive as our facility. Part two of our first travel day we board our 12 hour flight to Cape Town South Africa.
Our adventure today started when we landed this morning in Cape Town South Africa after a very long 12 hour flight. Next stop was car rental which was a very new experience driving on the opposite side of the road from Texas but Eduardo did a stellar job of getting us safely to the beautiful Table Bay Hotel. But as most family trips there are always those comedy moments especially when Eduardo exited the car rental place out the employee exit instead of the customer exit and of course the staff recognized us as crazy tourists from Texas so they just baled out of our way 🤦♂️🤠. Today was a causal day of rest, spa treatments and catching up a little from the long flight schedule, but we are out and about having fun enjoy the great SA cuisine.
Blog Day 4
Well we recovered well from our jet lag starting off our day with an amazing breakfast buffet, then we walked around the local market area buying some fun souvenirs from our stay here in Cape Town. We also enjoyed my darling wife Dawn playing drums with two local groups. Then came the afternoon fun when the four of us jumped aboard a Huey Helicopter for a combat ride along the SA coastline and across the Serengeti.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away”.
Dinner was amazing as we enjoyed the local delicacies dock side on the wharf at “Life Grand Cafe”. Get ready for more exciting updates as we move into the SA interior for our exotic animal photo safari’s starting tomorrow.
“Don’t just dream big dreams live them out as all our days are numbered”- The Wall Street Cowboy.
Blog Day 5
Today our adventure began with a 4 hour drive into the interior of the western cape South Africa. Stoping along the way to enjoy some fresh brewed SA coffee and wonderful pastries. Our home for the next two days is the Garden Route Game Lodge where we will encounter our first of several photo safaris during this trip. We started off our photo safari with the Worlds biggest mammals two incredible Elephant’s, next came the amazing White Rhinos (they are very endangered so for their protection no photos will be posted), onward we went to seek out Wildebeest, Water Buck and Cape Buffalo. Of course the highlight of todays safari was definitely the two majestic Cheetahs please watch the video of these beautiful creatures 🤠. Lastly, was our special visitor at dinner the infamous Rain Spider known to be a South African sign of wealth, good luck and creativity. Before we retreated to our luxury suites overlooking the Serengeti we enjoyed a gourmet dinner at the wonderful lodge. We hope you will continue to follow our journey on social media and until tomorrow we wish you continued blessings.
Blog Day 6
Wow what a day! Started off our morning at 6:45am when we headed out into the Serengeti in search of more exotic animals. As we rounded to first bend we came across African Antelope or better known as Gemsbok, from there we continued our drive looking for the most dangerous herbivore on the Serengeti which is the one and only Hippo (check out the very rare glimpse we got), onward we went looking for the King of the jungle and it was a regal moment when we spotted him with his queen. As we continued our trek we got another closeup encounter with the most majestic Cheetah’s including a mother and her two cubs. From there it was back to the lodge for a tradition African breakfast and a relaxing afternoon including a fantastic massage at the spa. Then while relaxing in our hot tub much to our surprise a beautiful Kudu the largest of African Antelope wandered right up past our deck. This afternoon we loaded back up headed out deep into the Serengeti encountering many more incredible exotics like Water Buck, Hyraxes, African Crane, Golden Mongoose, but our goal today was met when we finally found one of our favorite species the Tower of Giraffe. Lastly, as we headed back into camp we have more encounters with Rhinos, Zebra and Cheetahs. Today was nothing short of amazing however, watch for tomorrows adrenaline rush. We hope you continue to follow our travels on social media.
Blog Day 7
Well today was another great day not quite the adrenaline rush we hoped for, but it was bitter sweet for sure. This morning we headed out at 8 am onto Mosselbaai by boat on an attempt to cage dive with Great White Sharks unfortunately the bitter part was no luck finding them, but the sweet part came when we saw the two most famous Orca Whales in the world Port and Starboard. These two infamous Whales came into the bay and scared off the many Great White sharks that call it home. Historically they are the two most infamous adult male Whales who are feeding off the Great White Sharks in South Africa which is quite unusual. It is believed they were once in captivity then released back into the wild as evidence by their drooping dorsal fin and pushed out of their pod. Their names Port and Starboard are nautical boat terms Port named because his dorsal fin lays to the left and Starboard because his lays to the right. This was truly a once in a life time glimpse of these majestic creators from the undersea world. As we headed back to dock we rounded Seal Island the home of over 3500 but don’t be fooled they are actually Sea Lions. There is one male Sea Lion for every 66 females 🤦♂️poor guys.
From there we continued onto our next stop on this adventure Buffelsdrift Game Lodge where we checked into our luxury canvas tents our home for the next two days. These luxury tent have King beds, bathroom with a soaking tub, outdoor showers and of course air conditioned.
After a short break it was off for another photo safari we were able to see plenty of Kudu, Eland, Cape Buffalo with a baby, Gemsbok, more white Rhino, the predator bird of the Meerkats. Of course the highlight of today was a Tower of about 17 Giraffes including several babies.
Blog Day 8
Today is the day we go up close and personal with some of the most exotic animals of South Africa. Our Premium VIP tour at Cango Wild Life Park was nothing short of spectacular. We were invited to go behind the scenes of nearly every exhibit. Learning more everyday on our adventure about conservation and preservation of Gods beautiful creatures is our goal of bringing this knowledge back home to our facility and share it with our guests. You want an adrenaline rush try a cage dive with a Nile Crocodile, interested in a nice stroll with the fastest land animal in the world a Cheetah? Feeling bored how about feeding a 450 lbs White Tiger or the infamous stealth Leopard? Don’t underestimate their small size but the Pigmy Hippos are one of the most danger, so being within a foot of their vicious teeth is interesting. Blue and Gold Macaws and Conures are fun but the Cape Vultures, Flying Fox and the Marabou Stork were quiet unique. Wow three kinds of lemurs were fun the Common Brown, the ring tail and the Black/white Ruff all endangered from Madagascar.
Oak Meadow Ranch is honored to be the newest Platinum Member of this wonderful Conservation facility and a sponsor of the Cheetah exhibit. Bigger is better watch for our exciting post tomorrow and thank you for continuing to follow our journey on social media.
Blog Day 9
Well as I mentioned yesterday bigger is better. A dream came true today and one more thing off the bucket list when we did the most incredible interaction with the largest living land animals the African Elephant. These 3 magnificent animals were rescued 20 years ago when they were just 6 months old after their mothers were slaughtered by poachers just for the tusks. The happy news is they have a wonderful life at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge. Poaching and land development are the main reasons many of these beautiful animals are facing extinction and so the ability of humans to connect back with wildlife drives home the importance of conservation. As we have mentioned in many of our social media Oak Meadow Ranch is very proud and dedicated to helping with conservation and reconnections to humanity. After our amazing morning with these beautiful animals we packed up and headed to Plenttenberg Bay SA to relax and get ready for the next part of our trip so stay tuned to our social media for the continuation of this great adventure. Until tomorrow.
Blog Day 10
After getting some well deserved rest last night we loaded up for another action packed day starting with a nice brunch at Barringtons in Plettenberg Bay SA.
Next it was off for a close up encounter with approximately 15 species and over 550 primates living free range in their beautiful sanctuary. After that exhilarating interaction it was time for a relaxing stroll through the tranquil setting of “Birds of Eden”, home to many of the worlds most exotic birds.
Then we jumped back into our van and headed from West South Africa to East South Africa for our next destination Gorah Elephant Camp our home for 2 1/2 days. Stay tuned for for the continuation of our South African Adventure.
Blog Day 11
What a magical day today has been and nothing short of first class. We arrived last night to Gorah Elephant Camp two hours down a dirt road so far into the Serengeti that we are completely off the grid. As we pulled up to the welcome center just after dark we were greeted by a lovely lady named Leeandy who escorted us into the 1826 building housing the reception area, restaurant and very relaxing sitting area. After checking in we enjoyed a wonderful 5 Star dinner in our own private dining room that was originally the owners bedroom. During dinner we were up and down into the backyard to view many exotics like black Rhinos, Spotted Hyaena,Jackal and Warthogs coming to the pond for a night cap. After the amazing dinner we were escorted to our luxury tents by security our only protection in the dark for the wild beasts lurking around and wow were we pleasantly surprised by the beautiful accommodations. After a goods nights rest it was up at 6 am down to the camp for coffee and light snack then we loaded up into our private safari truck to head out for our first of 3 photo Safaris, this morning we were hunting for Lions. This one section of reserve is 30,000 Hectares or the equivalent 76,000 acres. As we traveled through the Serengeti it was beautiful to see herds of Plains Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Warthogs and of course a Coalition of Lions. We tracked them for a couple of hours as they hunted and we admired, then it was back to camp for breakfast and an afternoon of relaxation to prepare for our evening Safari. Tonight our goal is to seek out the herd of gentle giants one of my favorites the Elephant.
Blog Day 12
Well today was definitely the most exciting so far please enjoy the close up photography and videos. After a short drive we arrived at Sharmwari Wildlife Preserve and checked into our luxury tents (watch the video), then it was off for our first game drive which was in two words “absolutely epic”.
As we left camp on our encounters the first discovery was with White Rhinos and their babies, then it was onward into the Serengeti which Sharmwari is 25,000 Hectares almost 62000 acres. As we meandered our way through the bush we found a Tower of Giraffe with a new born baby, then we saw Blesbok, Springbok and Jackal.
But, then came the epic part when we came across a herd of frantic Elephants and one even charged our vehicle(see video). Last, but certain not least we came across a pride of Lions. This is getting wild so stay tuned for tomorrow epic adventures.
Blog Day 13
Another spectacular Safari especially now that the weather has turned back beautiful and wind has subsided it’s making our chances of sightings much better. As we head back into the wilderness our goal today again is still to find the “Big Five” which include the Lion, buffalo, elephant, rhino and leopard. So far the illusive one is the leopard, but we are up for trying again. As we start our day having coffee from our balcony there in front of us is a pond full of Hippos right below us we are excited to start our game drive and perhaps get much closer to those beasts who are the most dangerous and feared.
Next, we load up into the safari vehicle and head out today we are headed to the more northern side of the preserve looking for the exotic leopard. Along the way we stop and visit a herd of Rhino enjoying their morning feed, onward we go seeing plenty of Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Jackal, Golden Mongoose, Impala, Springbok and then we meet up with the second of the big five the very dangerous Cape Buffalo. Continuing on we find another Tower of Giraffe, then weaving through the brush there is number 3 of the “big five” a herd of elephants including babies. Now it’s back to the camp for breakfast, a game walk, relax in our private pool and the girls went to the spa for a massage.
Well it’s time to head out again on our 2nd game drive looking for the last of the “Big Five” Leopards we continue our determination and also look for one of our favorites the Cheetah.We continue to easily track 4 of the “Big Five” but the Leopards remain well hidden, however, our bonus today was cocktails enjoying the magnificent sunset. Tomorrow will be our final safari and we will continue our trek to find the mysterious and hardest of the “Big Five” the Leopard so be sure to continue along with us.
Blog Day 14
Our final Safari day is here and what an amazing two weeks we have had traveling from the west coast of South Africa to the East Coast. As we leave camp this morning our first encounter was another pride of Lions. As we sat marveling at these incredible beasts the females one at at time left out to hunt prey, followed by the younger male and then lastly big daddy finally went down the valley to see what was on the menu perhaps a warthog or even a Zebra either way it made for some great photos. Next on our exploring we saw more of the big five the buffalo, Rhino and the mighty elephant the only one we could not find was the illusive Leopard. However, we finally got to see one of our favorites the beautiful Cheetahs.
After our morning game drive we headed over for a private tour of the Shamwari rehab facility where they help injured and sick animals get healthy and returned back into the wild. Then it was back to camp for breakfast and time to pack, but before leaving Shamwari we went to visit and have a private tour of “Born Free” the big cat sanctuary where they rescue abused cats from bad zoos, corrupt Circuses and incompetent people. Then it was off to Cape Town to begin our trek home to Texas, we sincerely hope you enjoyed following along with our adventure.
Blessings, Allan, Dawn, Kristin and Eduardo.
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