We flew from Livingstone to Mpamalanga (Nelspruit) in South Africa, then drove for two hours to our next stop at Londolozi, bordering Sabi Sands and Kruger National Park. I am not sure I have ever stayed at such a luxurious place, even in the middle of nowhere. Everything about Londolozi is amazing, from the rooms to the food to the staff and the game drives. It is truly magnificent and everyone should go there if possible.
Getting up at 5am for a game drive sounds like a terrible idea, and the first time you get woken up at that time it really feels like a terrible idea, and you wonder what kind of madness you have agreed to. Then you get in the Land Rover and five minutes later you hear a lion roar and your tracker says "that way" and then you spend the next 30 minutes following a lion around, and the 5am madness seems not so mad after all.
And then you say to your driver that afternoon that you'd really like to see some hippos, and then you see this…
And you might even say the next morning that you haven't seen any elephants yet, and your driver and tracker find this for you, and the elephants even pose nicely:
There is quite a cute story behind the pipe those two are holding. These two adolescent males had found a water pipe (they can smell water from miles away) that was used to fill watering holes in times of drought, and dug it up. There were a few kinks in the pipe and they spent quite a while trying to make the water come out. Eventually they managed to straighten it and water gushed out all over them. They both freaked out, ran a few metres away, trumpeted at the pipe, picked up sticks and threw them at it, and then they ran away. It was so entertaining. And all the time the water was pouring out and they'd made a lovely mud hole for themselves which they had a great time playing in.
In the evening when your driver says he has a surprise for you…
Honestly it was just the best experience. This very large bull elephant got extremely close to us:
We saw hyenas feasting on a buffalo:
And we saw loads of birds:
Zebra, wildebeest, more leopards:
There are a LOT more animal photos in my FlickR photo stream, just click on any of the photos above and you'll be taken to the album.
After a truly glorious time at Londolozi it was time to move on to Cape Town. We stayed at Ellerman House, which was delightful. We had this magnificent view from our balcony:
The staff at Ellerman House were so wonderful, I would definitely recommend a stay there. We also went up to Table Mountain, which was quite spectacular.
The view is something else:
In summary, do an animal safari if you ever get the chance. It is AMAZING. And visit Cape Town, it's just lovely.