R i c k   &   L y n n e   B r i c e

 NE South Africa Kapama River Lodge Photo Journal (DAY 1)
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Limo Service
Ranger Maggie and company picked us up, baggage cart in tow, at Hoedspruit Airport and the adventure began. We departed the airport gate and stopped at the main road. Ranger Maggie asked us if we were ready to begin our journey to the Kapama Game Reserve. We all said yes. We drove across the main road, and entered the Kapama Game Reserve, a distance of about 100 meters.

We passed Warthogs (camera not ready) in a wallow not more than 300 meters from the gate. We passed this Giraffe only a short time later.

Missed a Waterbuck male (terrribly out of focus) but got a shot of this inquisitive female nyala.

This Impala and his harem watched as we passed by.

After a short journey, we arrived at Kapama River Lodge. Lynne took all these photos with a Canon Powershot. My camera was in the baggage cart. (I am going to get it now.)

Shortly after we were situated in our rooms, we began to prowl the walkways around the lodge. Lynne took this great photo of an Nyala buck close up and personal. We took care not to get too close.

I found these Nyala does grazing along the walkways. They show some wariness, but no real fear of people.

This shot was taken by Lynne from our deck before lunch. I'm tentatively identifying it as a young Kudu male.

Wine Cellar
The Kapama Lodge Wine Cellar is well stocked. Such a wonderful view. I am looking forward to some local wines.

First day
evening safari
Our first scheduled safari began the evening of our arrival. Ranger Frikkie and Tracker Roger took us in search of the rare and endangered spotted grasshopper that feeds on red grass, also rare and endangered. We were instructed to keep all parts in the Land Cruiser, don't stand up, and don't shoot flash unless Ranger Frikkie gives the all clear.

A short distance from the lodge we came up behind this strolling Giraffe. We soon discovered that this was mom.

Giraffe, baby
The large Giraffe turned off into the brush and we found this baby a short distance from the road.

This Warthog was rooting around beside the road and did not stop when we showed up although it did not turn away from us.

Termite Mound
Ranger Frikkie gave us a very interesting and informative lecture on the closed eco-system of a Termite mound. He explained how the Aardvark attacks the mound by digging in to the queens chamber and eats the Termites defending the queen.

Cape Glossy Starling
This Starling was posing for us, showing us the brilliance of its eyes.

Driving along watching for game, I got a distinct whiff of Elephants. Lynne got this nice shot through a gap in the forest.

This Impala buck stood regal while I snapped his picture.

After several consultations Ranger Frikkie and Tracker Roger located the Kapama Lion male waking up from his daily nap.

King of Kapama
After this fellow woke up and marched away, I got some good photos of his rear end. Finally, he turned around and headed back toward us. It made Lynne and everyone else nervous, but I got this shot.

This shot shows the Lions camoflage. Tracker Roger's hat shows you how close we were to the Lion.

Passing Lion
He came toward the Land Cruiser like we were not there. Ranger Frikkie backed the Land Cruiser out of his way and I got this shot as he passed by us. We soon discovered we had a tire going down and put some distance between us and the King of Kapama.

Flat Tire
We stopped along an open dirt road a few miles from the King of Kapama. Ranger Frikkie promptly set up an open bar while Tracker Roger began preparations to change the tire. Ranger Frikkie cautioned us to stay close to the Land Cruiser and not wander away. It is an invigorating sense of being alive in the fading twilight knowing their are large predators in the area.

Glass of Wine
Ranger Frikkie helped jack the Land Cruiser, tended the bar, and told a few tall tales while Tracker Roger finished up the tire change. These two professionals worked like a well oiled machine.

A Toast to Us
Lynne on my right, Rick in the middle, and Karen on my left, toasting to us and being here in the moment. Ranger and Tracker packed away the Land Cruiser and broke out the spotlight. We were off to see what was roaming the African night.

Tracker Roger signaled to Ranger Frikkie. We stopped, backed up to examine some tracks on the road. A short conversation in Tsonga and we were heading in to the brush following a leopard. In spite of my camera troubles in the pitch black night, I got a shot of this shy and elusive African denizen.

Roger got the spotlight on our quarry and Lynne got this nice shot of this shy and elusive African Leopard.

When we returned to the lodge, tables for dinner were set out around a roaring fire in the chilly african night.

A very fine dinner buffet was set out under the African sky with many fine selections. We could see the Milky Way in all its splendor from the southern hemisphere. A nice South African Pinotage rounded out our meal.


Copyright © 2010 Rick Brice. All rights reserved.