Woke up to sunshine and had a 7.30am breakfast then in the car and off the Kenton-on-Sea for our river trip, game drive and lunch. It was going to be a long day as it would all take about 6 hours.
Having parked the car we had coffee on the verandah overlooking the river **** and jetty where we were departing from. Only one other couple joined us.
The journey up the river, which was tidal and of salt water for about ** kilometers allowed is to see many birds. With the tide being in it meant there was much more water than if it was out allowing us to go nearer the banks to view the birds and animals more closely.
Upon reaching the Sibuya lodge and restaurant we all took a toilet break and had a drink before climbing aboard the jeep and starting our tour around the game reserve, which covered about 8,000 hectacres. We saw many animals including rhinos, zebra, giraffe, wilderbeast, springbock, kuda and many, many others. The lions are kept in their own seperate area for obvious reasons, and having entered the secure double gates our guide started driving slowly around with us all looking for them. The area was heavily vegetated and the weather very hot, and we drove round for ages with no sign of anything until suddenly a lioness was spotted relaxing in a tree nearby. The guide said she was there because it was too hot on the ground for her. We all took photos and the guide slowly edged the vehicle nearer so as not to scare her off. She was not asleep, but resting with both front legs hanging either side of the branch she was laying on. She was awake and fully aware we were there. The guide drove very slowly through the bushes to get to the tree as he'd never seen anything like it before despite him being a game warden for over five years. He managed to get us 3 1/2 meters from her, which was the distance Stuart's camera noted. She knew we were there, kept changing positions, sometimes watching us, sometimes not, but she was fully relaxed and enjoying the breeze flowing around her body. It was awesome!
Eventually we left the lioness and drove back to the lodge where we had a lovely buffet lunch with drinks. A rest then back on the river to go up river a bit to collect some other people then turning around and going back to the jetty where we started from. It was a fantastic day.
Back at A Villa de Mere we crashed out and had a late afternoon nap before going to dine at The Wharfe Brewer Pub by the river in Port Alfred.
An enjoyable day - rather bumpy on the game drive as our driver drove to where the game were taking no notice of the dirt track and because we spent longer with the lioness than we should the trip back down the river was a little like a race than a potter as it had been on the way up.
Kenton-on-Sea river cruise
River Cruise Reception
Waiting for the boat to arrive