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Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve

The first thing we heard in the morning was a massive BANG on the side of our tent and Tommy’s beautiful voice “good morning my sleeping beauties” we mumbled a response and started our ridiculously early day.

Clambering into massive game drive vehicles after layering up like onions. After boarding ‘the fun bus’ we sped down the highway freezing our bits off. And literally being whipped in the face with hair.
When we arrived at the game park everyone was sleepy but excited to see amazing animals. ‘the fun bus’ soon became ‘the nap bus’ Katie and Jade soon became nodding dogs and got into a rhythmic bobbing for the first part of the journey and when Jade woke up and laughed at Katie, Kirsty rightly asked “what are you laughing about? you’re just as bad!” once we had all recovered from our 4.45am(!) start we started to see the big 5 and more! We saw zebras, baboons, buffalo and warthogs (I think we are all still quite shocked that we actually ate some on our first night!)
There were white rhino and we were lucky enough to see a black rhino! Our tour guide Patrick said that it is very rare for people to see them so we were all very pleased.

One of the animals that I had most hoped to see in Africa was a leopard but our chances were very slim as we knew that many people have lived in Africa for years but not seen one. So we were very surprised, excited and a little smug to be one of the safari trucks to see one lying in the grass just 30 feet away! Kirsty took a photo as evidence though the leopard just looks like a tiny dot!
We soon came to a beautiful area with water shining in the sun and thousands of elephants ( um… about 15 – but it was amazing) were just walking around and about five just strolled across the road right in front of us. It was a very beautiful and emotional moment. We also saw lots of giraffes which became known to us as ‘raffies’ and we all learnt how to distinguish between the males and females which we were all very proud about!

When the game drive was over we were a bit sad but looking forward to an early night! We finished the day with a lovely group photo of us in front of our truck with Patrick.

Today has definitely been one of my favourite days!!

-Abby

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