I went on my first game drive from Khulu Ivory Lodge late on Saturday afternoon, with the weather still a bit patchy. It didn't matter because our huge waterproof ponchos kept us and our cameras dry as we bumped along the muddy bush tracks on the back of our covered safari truck driven by our knowledgable guide Peter.
There were six in our group, and it was enormous fun. These impala and baboons were the first animals we came upon, gathering near a water pan for their evening drink.
February, the wet season, is not the best time to see animals because the foliage on the trees is so lush and the undergrowth so thick. An elephant could be mere meters away and you would never know unless you heard him.
These giraffes were easy!
I proved I had much to learn about pachyderm spotting when what I thought was a chubby brown 'elephant' turned out to be a very fine example of the Common African Toyota! 😜
Birds have never excited me much, but one of our group was an expert, and crimson bee-eaters, yellow-billed hornbills, guinea fowl, lilac-breasted rollers, and black eagles had him jumping up and down with delight! I'm starting to see the attraction.
We were hoping to encounter elephants from the Presidential Herd.
This 450 strong herd, under the patronage of the President of Zimbabwe, is protected from poachers and game hunters, and habituated to human contact, so they will allow safari vehicles to safely approach for an up close experience.
Unfortunately they all had something better to do this Saturday night.
Back at the camp Jameson had a magnificent three course dinner waiting for us, and we ended a perfect (if elephant-less) day sitting around a roaring campfire drinking liqueurs.