The end has officially arrived! I have to admit, I’m a little sad to wrap up my safari posts. It has been so much fun (for the most part!) reliving the trip and telling you all about it. Thank you for indulging me!
After spending two nights in Victoria Falls, we left feeling refreshed and ready for our final safari experience in South Africa. The next morning, we flew back to Johannesburg, where we connected and boarded a flight to Nelspruit Airport, which was a two-hour drive from our final camp located in the Kapama Game Reserve (nearby Kruger National Park).
Unlike our Botswana safaris, which took place in national parks (animals migrate to and from it, and it is 100% wild), a game reserve is technically an enclosed, natural habitat. However, to put it in perspective, Kapama Game Reserve was fairly big (50 square miles), so for the most part, you still had to drive a long distance to reach the borders of the property.
The landscape is untouched, the animals are all wild, but it is a somewhat more orchestrated–if that’s the right word–safari experience as the owners manage the wildlife population. For example: if the lion population grows to be too large and the land/food chain cannot support that number of lions, they will transfer lions to other game reserves in the area.
We arrived to our camp late that night, settled into our beautiful room, and had a delicious three-course dinner before gearing up for our game drive the next morning. Our schedule at our last camp was a little different in that we woke up even earlier (5:15 AM, generally), had a quick snack or cup of coffee, left for our game drive by 6:00 AM, and ate breakfast once we returned at around 9:15 AM.
Unlike our previous camps, this property used uncovered safari vehicles and they actually sent two guides on each game drive. The head guide would drive (and tell us about what we were seeing), and the other would track and sit (without a seatbelt!) on this insane chair attached to the very front of the jeep.
If you look closely, you can see it in the picture above! Can you imagine sitting on that thing and being within a few feet of lions, leopards, or rhinos?! All of which happened within the next few days. He was basically lion bait.
I can’t even handle thinking about it.