On Monday afternoon Tino, Amanda and Tianda dropped us off at Tangala Authentic African Camp for our last evening in South Africa. Saying goodbye to new friends was a little tough...but it was also nice to be alone for the first time since arriving in South Africa.
Tangala is an electricity free camp on the Thornybush Private Nature Preserve. It is a small camp with only six chalets. Upon arriving in camp, we learned that we were to be the only guests for our visit.
|Our Thatched Chalet - Very authentic, as well as romantic|
|See...I told you it was Romantic!|
I truly felt like this was taken straight from Meryl Steep/Robert Redford's 'Out Of Africa'...'a colonial Africa feel', as their website so aptly describes it.
After arriving, we took some time to sort through some of the souvenirs we had picked up over the weekend and to just relax on the deck. It was soon time for High Tea. Since we were the only guests, we had our tea at the Lounge's conversation area instead of at the dining table. It was a beautiful view overlooking the swimming pool, the watering hole and the Drakensburg Mountains in the distance. We watched as warthogs, baboons and impala wandered through the open field.
After High Tea, we loaded up on an open air truck for a game drive. Thornybush is famous for being a place to see the 'Big 5': Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino & Cape Buffalo. We had seen the lion, elephant and cape buffalo while driving through Kruger...so we were hoping to see the rhino and the leopard during our stay.
First thing we see on our game drive is a Puff Adder!
Once Mr. Lazybones decided to crawl on off into the bush, we went down to the waterhole where we got our first look at the White Rhino.
|White Rhino - Our 4th 'Big 5' sighting...we only have a leopard left on our list. |
But we are told those are much harder sightings to come by unless you stay for a couple of days.
|Giraffes at dinner time!!!|
At this point I was thinking 'Jungle Book' instead of 'Lion King'!
|Getting close to sundown...I will truly miss looking out at the African sky.|
Our guides were actually congratulating us at having seen the 'Big 5' in one day.
They had prepared us that this might be one animal that we didn't find.
|He was just snoozing in a tree, waiting for it to get dark enough to go hunting for dinner.|
|We were parked (in an open air truck) right underneath the tree.|
After a little bit, he decided he was tired of having his picture taken so he started down the tree.
|He was standing just feet from the truck on Jim's side.|
|Look at those eyes!|
|He started off into the bush...when our driver punched it to try and cut him off so that the other game trucks could get a look at him. I didn't want to be the one between him and dinner!|
After we stopped the leopard, we moved out of the way to allow the other game trucks a closer look. We drove to an open area to enjoy the sunset and our Sundowner.
|Sundown at Thornybush Private Nature Preserve|
Y'all may be tired of seeing my sunset pictures, but I can assure you I have been selective and not subjected you to all of them! I love sunset in Texas...in Arkansas...in Africa, it doesn't really matter to me.
|Our Sundowner meal.|
It isn't dog food bowls, I swear.
We toasted to the day and had a light snack before heading out for the second half of our game drive.
|Female lions in the sand.|
After the lions, our tracker pointed out several other animals, but most didn't stand around long enough for us to get pictures. There were a couple of lemur type animals and antelopes.
As we were nearing the lodge, our driver threw the truck in reverse and our tracker jumped out of the bull seat to capture our last wild animal of the trip.
|Jim and the Chameleon|
This chameleon was hiding in a bush near the edge of the road. By the time I got my camera out and ready, he had already began changing colors on Jim's jacket.
We were greeted at the camp with a glass of sherry and the announcement that Amanda had arranged for a private dinner at our chalet.
|Private Dinner on the Deck|
|Happy 30th Anniversary to us!|
After dinner, we decided not to go on the morning game drive as we would need to repack for the airport. It was time to sort our luggage so that we could meet all of the security requirements. Thinking that we could get up a little bit later, shower and leisurely pack before breakfast...we turned in for the night.
The next morning I awoke around seven and as usual, made the restroom my first stop. I noticed something out the bathroom window.
|African Hot Water Heater|
|Our Last African Sunrise|
It was time to say goodbye to Africa...and I hated to go. At this point, we were both tired and ready to go home...but at the same time, this place pulls at you.
|Do we have to say goodbye?|
Totsiens - Goodbye!