were off the ship by 8am and met by our tour guide who was taking
us to the Sanbona Reserve for our Safari. Our bus (an 18 passenger
van) took us north of Cape Town, over the mountains through some
beautiful countryside. This is a huge grape growing region, both
for fruit and for wine. Miles and miles of grape vineyards lined
the highway, much more extensive than in Napa.
a 4 hour drive we arrived at the gate of the reserve where we transferred
to smaller vehicles for the hour drive to our accommodations. Sanbona
is one of South Africa's largest privately owned wildlife reserves.
It has over 54,000 hectares of land, including some beautiful rock
formations. We are staying two nights in the Dwyka Tented Lodge
which has 9 individual tents. But
these are not ordinary tents. They are 5 star luxury rooms with
canvas tops. The beds are as good as those on the ship. The bath
includes two sinks, a huge shower and a separate bathtub . There
is the usual mini bar stocked with soft and hard drinks, only all
the drinks are free. Outside, each tent has a Jacuzzi-size dipping
pool (cool water for the expected 100 degree temps). Unfortunately,
today was overcast, very windy and cool.
After a gourmet lunch, including wine and beer, we got ready for
our late afternoon game drive. Our guide provided all the women
with fleece hats and we were very thankful for them. Our
vehicles were 8 passenger, multi-tiered 4 wheel drive jeeps with
canvas top and open sides. So with the wind chill it was quite cold.
We spotted some Springbok antelopes and some Oryx, a giraffe, some
zebras and a lone male elephant.
The highlight was sighting 3 lions, one of which was an albino.
We stopped for a Sundowner drink while watching the sun set over
the mountains but it was too cold to wait to see the whole thing.
When we got back to the main lodge, there was hot chocolate with
amarula waiting. (Amarula is a liqueur found in Africa made from
the fruit of the Amarula tree, also very good over ice cream!) Then
it was time for dinner. This was a BBQ buffet with various native
dishes including ostrich sausage, karoo lamb chops, springbok. All
very delicious. Since we have to be up early tomorrow morning for
our next game drive, we just went back, showered and fell into bed.
next day we were awakened at 5:30 for the 6am game drive. The skies
were clear and the wind had died so it was a little warmer. But
we still needed hats and gloves for the early morning temps. We
immediately came across one of the lions from yesterday eating their
evening's kill - a huge Oryx. The other lions had already had their
fill and were sound asleep under a tree. To see a video of the lion
feasting, click on
Lion Eating Oryx video.
we stopped by a pond where the resident hippo hung out. As we pulled
up, he stuck his head out of the water, then his whole body. Then
sunk back down. Looked like something out of Disneyland! To see
a short video of his antics, click on Hippo
in Pond video.
the highlight was on the way back to the lodge, we spotted three
cheetahs drinking in a creek by the side of the road. What a magnificent
Then it was back to the lodge for a hearty breakfast and showers.
Our afternoon game drive left at 5:30pm. This time we went to the
other end of the park to find a herd of female elephants and their
the way, we spotted a herd of rhinoceros eating their way thru the
vegetation. Also a lot of giraffes eating the acacia trees. Our
sundowner was very pleasant as it had warmed up considerably.
next morning Barb decided not to go on the morning's game drive
as she was getting a cold and didn't sleep well. Fred said they
saw mostly the same animals, except the hippo and lions were sparring
with each other at the pond.
Although not as large and varied as our previous safari in Kenya
and Tanzania, we were very impressed with Sanbona. The accomodations
were superb and the game drives very exciting. It is always fun
to see wild animals in their natural evironment.
our stay at Sanbona, we were picked up for the drive back through
the mountains to Cape Town. We made a stop at the prison where Nelson
Mandela spent the last 18 months of his prison sentence and where
he made his triumphant walk out the gate after his release.
To view more photos from our Safari, please go to Safari
Photo Gallery. To learn about our visit to Cape Town, South
Africa, go to Cape Town Newsletter.
Locations Visited Photos Map