Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cape Town Day 4

Up early today as our pickup for the game farm was at 06:30. Quick coffee and we were off! It's a two hour drive to the Aquila Private Game Reserve.

The weather was rotten in Cape Town this morning with blowing winds and rain. Our route took us along the N1 which is the main highway to Johannesburg. Once through the Huguenot Tunnel the weather dried out and it was just higher overcast clouds and no rain. We had a pit stop at Worcester for bathrooms & snacks then back on the road.  We hoped this would be the weather at the game reserve :-)

On arrival we paid the entrance fee and were greeted by a peacock in full bloom as we headed to the buffet style breakfast. All very good and as we left early before our Guest House served our usual breakfast, we tucked in hard ;-) We sat with another couple from England and enjoyed the rest of the day with them.
Amazing colors!
Wow that is impressive!
We transferred to a touring vehicle and we were taken deep into the heart of the African wilderness! Well not quite as it was a 4500 acre reserve of open land surrounded by hills and small mountains. The property is fenced but very large and allows the animals to freely roam within the game reserve area.
Hang on tight!
Male Ostrich (Black body & white feathers)
Neat to see these two elephants in open ground.
 We drove around the property stopping at various vantage points to view the animals.
Oryx Antelope
We had a short break midday for some refreshments and a leg stretch. As it was cold and windy we took the Sherry:-) Nice warming effect I will admit.

Our driver/bartender:-)
 We drove up into the hills and entered the lion area. We did see them but they were way out of camera range for us. A couple people has 400mm lenses and I am sure they got good shots.

Next stop was the rescue/recovery center across the road. These animals were being cared for and I believe they will either live out their lives here or be reintroduced into the wild.
Cheetah... amazing!

Something we said? :-)
Alligator... they are sleeping and not noticing me creep into their pen for this shot.
Leopard that is in a smaller caged area about 200 x 300 feet. Looks very healthy and is ready to go back to the wild I believe.

Back at the main facility we were treated to another great buffet lunch and the requisite gift shop stop. Kelly managed to avoid spending more rands as her bag is officially "over gross" for the trip home. We loaded up and headed home to the Blackheath Lodge in Sea Point , Cape Town. Weather turned miserable and stayed that way for most of the journey home.

Two hours later we were dropped at our door and after getting changed, we cracked a bottle of Anura Sauvignon Blanc and sat by the fireplace with the cat Soda:-)

Dinner tonight is at Harvey's at the Winchester Mansion. This is NOT the Harvey's Hamburgers you're thinking of :-) We took a short cab ride down and on arrival, decided to check and see when Linda & Tim Jesky would be arriving. We had spoke at the World's about getting together and I was pretty sure this was the place that they were staying. We inquired at the front desk and low and behold they had checked in and were in the bar at that very moment! In we went and quickly found them as they looked through their computer for pictures of the cheetah that hit their car at Henley field!  Some insurance deal I think? Kelly had a picture of the offending creature on her phone! What luck.

We had a great visit and decided to have dinner together in the hotel. We chatted about their trip to Kruger, the Worlds, kids and their plans while in Cape Town. 

We said goodnight as we headed home to Blackheath Lodge and they sorted out their rooms. We will try and meet up tomorrow afternoon sometime.... maybe even visit with Mark Wolffe.

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