To round off my Bush Break holiday my family and I were lucky enough (SUPER lucky) to be invited to spend two nights at MalaMala Private Game Reserve! And all I can say is WOW!!! This was pure luxury!
On arrival we were warmly greeted by the staff and met by our very own personal Game Ranger, who looked after us for the duration of our stay. The accommodation is completely luxurious and I just loved all the attention to detail.
At MalaMala you get to go on game drives in open vehicles, with a maximum of 6 guests per vehicle, with your ranger - who will ask you if there's anything specific you would like to see and then do his best to find it for you. MalaMala does not share traversing rights with any of the neighbouring reserves and as a result the human impact is kept to a minimum. This means that guests are able to enjoy the wildlife sightings for longer and get great close up photographs.
On our afternoon/evening game drive we first came across a herd of elephants with this cute little guy who was so comical and even had a go at mock charging us!
Next we spotted a lone lioness resting on a river bank. She was a way off the road, but what's so fantastic about this kind of game viewing experience is that the rangers can take the vehicles off road so you are able to get really close.
The lioness was really sleepy and not doing much so our ranger took us to a river pool where he knew there was a little baby hippo. It was a real little cutie... in a strange alien-looking way!
Then one of the other rangers radioed our ranger to say that they had spotted a female leopard nearby to where we had been watching the lioness, so we headed back that way, and what a beauty! She was tucked under some bushes just resting, but after a while got up and started to move.
We followed her as she made her way to a suitable tree where she sat and pondered for a while, until...
she very effortlessly jumped up into the tree! It was amazing to watch how high up she climbed and so quickly! She then assumed the typical 'leopard-in-a-tree' pose with her legs dangling down through the leaves. When we started our trip my brother asked me what animal I would most like to see and I replied that I would really like to see a leopard in a tree...I didn't expect to get to see a leopard climbing into the tree!
The leopard's movements obviously sparked the lionesses interest, as she got up and also started heading our way, glancing up into the tree as she wombled past.
We also saw a few rhinos, which is always special. Incidentally we also saw the carcas of a rhino that had just been poached! We all hear about it in the news, but actually seeing it makes it super real! This is a terrible problem that we're facing and something really needs to be done before it's too late - once they're gone... they're gone... forever! All the rangers and staff of MalaMala and the Sabi Sand Wildtuin were devastated by the loss and were doing everything they could to help catch the poachers.
Seeing a couple of lazy Buffaloes meant that we officially saw the Big 5!
We also saw a pair of Side-Striped Jackals, which was really great!
And what says Africa more than the majestic male lion!
To finish off this very special holiday we were treated with a very special sighting...two Cheetahs!!! These two are brothers and we were very lucky to see them before a pair of hyenas came along and chased them away!
Thank you for following along on our family holiday! Be sure to check back soon for some fun and pretty craft projects!