Our last morning game drive was specifically difficult for my guests as we had a late night watching the tennis final on Super Sport.

Even though they were a few hours short on sleep I still woke them up at 5 and we left for morning safari game drive at 5:30 am.

The mission of the morning was to head out and look for giraffes as we had seen all the other animals on the list that we wanted to see. Our route was set, the coffee was packed and very enthusiastically we drove off. The plan was, go down eagle owl, up tortoise, on to Sekwa plains and boom into Giraffe Country.

As usual our plan did not start out as expected. Not far from the lodge we started to see very interesting tracks in the ground where a rhino slept for the evening. Carrying on we saw the tracks walking off in an easterly direction and we slowly followed as it was on our pre-planned route. We did not think that we will see this rhino however, we enjoyed the tracking immensely.

Surprisingly, a few minutes later there were four sub-adult rhinos, looking straight at us on a road called “rhino drive” of all roads. We enjoyed them for a while and moved on to find our tall giraffe friends.

Back on track and on our pre-planned route, we headed straight up tortoise drive. All of a sudden we saw three little things running through the grass. Unexpectantly, we had stumbled on three baby cheetah cubs about two months of age running to their mother. The mother was dragging an impala carcass that she had killed literally minutes before we arrived.

We sat and watched for at least an hour, the “perks” of leaving early, before any other cruiser could respond to the sighting. The cubs were playing and the mother laid panting for some twenty minutes. Just amazing to witness!

After this amazing sighting we just had to stop for morning coffee to take it all in. As we were sipping our coffee infused with a dash of Amarula cream liqueur, two male giraffe suddenly appeared out of nowhere! We just could not ask for a better ending!

Evan Vermeulen

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