Time To Play

This past weekend we took a break from work and headed off to Pilanesberg National Park for a holiday, as they say in South Africa, and safari. When we arrived at the game lodge, I was amazed at the beautiful scenery and the lodge itself. It’s not every day that your room is just 20 feet away from a fence that’s keeping out lions! While the entire weekend was relaxing and calm compared to our normal schedule, we still went on two game drives (aka safaris) out in the bush. Our first safari was a sunset ride. We saw several elephants, rhinos, zebras, wildebeests, impalas, and so much more. As the sun set over the mountains, my classmates and I hushed as we took in the beauty and majesty of the African landscape. The next morning, at 5:45, we went out into the bush again, this time in search of a pride of lions. We huddled under blankets as our guide drove through the park for a couple of hours before we stumbled upon what we thought was a lioness. Lucky for us, as we sat there in our truck, more and more lion heads popped up above the tall grass. By the end, we caught glimpses of five out of the park’s 50-some lions. And on the way back to the lodge we saw a journey of giraffes. We spent the rest of Saturday relaxing by the pool, in the spa, or doing small group excursions to bide our time until a barbeque in the boma, an enclosure that resembled a small fort. On our way to dinner, we passed through the park under an ink-black sky full of stars until we reached a fenced-in picnic area where we feasted on traditional South African delicacies cooked over hot coals. This weekend we saw another side of South Africa that we don’t get in the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg, adding to the rainbow colored, multifaceted nation that we are exploring.
–Katie Monks