|Baby zebra we encounter at Umlani. All photos in this post courtesy of Michael Rezin. Check out his facebook for many more high quality photos of Umlani and our time in South Africa: https://www.facebook.com/michael.rezin.7|
|Young male lion at Umlani|
|Sundowners with Dr. Freedman|
|One of the hippos who looked on as we enjoyed the sunset over the watering hole.|
The next morning we wake at 5AM and head back out into the bush. First thing we see three female lionesses on one of the few paved roads. They walk right by the vehicles, their muscle moving under their sleek, magnificent golden coats. They are so close we could reach out and pet them - if we have a death wish, that is.
|Close proximity with lionesses.|
Wild dogs, endangered animals, have been near the camp for a while, and next we drive off to find them. Off road, we encounter a majority of the pack numbering over 20. Their coats patchy, they are the calicos of canines. At one point, an impala appears from seemingly no where and leaps behind our path. Wild dogs follow closely in pursuit, but the bush is too thick for us to follow and find out the endgame of the hunt.
|One of the pack.|
During the rest of our drives we encounter giraffes, warthogs, impala, other wallowing hippos, two huge trees teeming with countless baboons, a jackal, huge spiders, two adult male lions with full manes, and my favourite moment: a cheetah. We find her under a tree with her recent kill, an impala. Cheetahs are on the bottom of the totem pole for predators, and she must keep a constant watch for lions, leopards, wild dogs, and even jackals that could overpower her and claim her kill.
All good things come to an end. Leaving is painful. But we'll also remember these two days filled with some of the most beautiful beings that inhabit our planet. And the long ride back is far from dull. The beautiful landscapes are there again, and this time we stop to see a couple sights, namely Blyde River Canyon and God's Window.
|Blyde River Canyon|
~The Cloud Catcher