Fly into Port Elizabeth and meet your Springbok Atlas transfer driver who will take you to Shamwari Private Game Reserve. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes however this safari adventure began earlier on the dirt road while the sands of time moved at a glacial pace.
The driver (John) was a former military man who for the first hour informed the group (now known as the Big 5) of Port Elizabeth’s history. As the group began talking amongst themselves, there was a slight jerk and a hissing sound but no one really paid much attention until John pulled over to the side of the road. As we got out of the vehicle it was clear to see that both back tyres were deflated but with only one spare, it was time to call for help. Let me point out that the chances of having two flat tyres anywhere in the world is highly thin but to be stuck in South Africa on a dirt road just made the experience one to remember. At first there was no reception and we began selecting who would be walking into town which was at least a 40 minute drive. John was able to finally get reception and called for back-up. In the meantime another call was made to Lobengula Lodge in Shamwari and Ranger Ryan came with safari trucks to the rescue. This is where we all discovered that Ryan was to be our guide while at Shamwari.
Arriving into the reserve which is over 45,000 acres hosting an assortment of wild animals including the Big 5, you honestly need at least 3-4 days to experience this special place on earth. We arrived at the lodge and with only 15 minutes to freshen up, it was time to head out and search for the Big 5. The animals I mean.
The afternoon soon disappeared and it was now nightfall. It is amazing how time passes so quickly when you are on safari. Luckily we spotted a few Zebras, Springboks and then the prints of the leopard. This chase to find the illusive leopard was intense. We were all on the look out to catch a glimpse of her and Ranger Ryan suspected that by looking at her prints on the road, that she is close. Speeding up and then remaining completely still and quiet to hear anything from the bushes played with us all and the excitement kept on building. We looked hard but for now, she escaped us.
If you are into birds or know someone that is a bird watcher fanatic, then this place has many unique species and Ranger Ryan is a bird enthusiast turning the group into singing ravens by the end of the evening. It was time for an early night as a 5am wake up was scheduled in order to see more animals.
Thursday, 17 November 2011
On Location Shamwari Private Game Reserve – South Africa – Part 1
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: A.V