Safari II – Sabi Sands

The drive is a pleasant one on good roads which wind their way through hillsides that are planted to lumber, mainly the tall, straight eucalyptus tree, which fills the air with a clean camphor smell. As one descends the rolling hills the scenery changes to large banana plantations. These in turn give way to the bushveld so synonymous with big five country; wide open savannah grasslands, acacia woodland, riverine bush and thornveld.

We arrive at the entrance to the Sabi Sands Park and pay a modest fee to pass through the high game fence for the rest of the drive on sand and dirt roads. We are warned to stay in our vehicles and are immediately aware of a heightened sense of alertness.

Within minutes of leaving the gates a little family of warthogs trots across our path – ugly and endearing,  their large whiskery faces with wart-like bumps. It seems as if they pause for photographs and then quickly dart off, their little tails shoot straight up in the air as they “play” follow their leader through the grass. Just a little way down the road we catch sight of a monolithic mammal right out of Noah’s ark – the legendary rhinoceros. At first we see only two of these huge beasts quietly grazing when suddenly from behind the protective rump of one, a baby peeps out. A perfect miniature in every sense! It is a small family group. Thus the tone is set for our safari.

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