We were up early to head three hours west. Dorothy was worried that she’s planned too much for me to do and has not given me any time to rest. So not true! This break from cooking, shopping, and playing with Rachel (even though I miss her terribly) has been great.
On our way to Plettenberg Bay, we saw ostrich and baboons along the highway, had ice cream cones at Steers (like Burger King) at the Storms River rest area, saw the world’s highest bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge, and then stopped at Monkeyland to take a one-hour walking tour through the world’s first multi-species free-roaming primate sanctuary. We saw several different species of monkeys and lemurs up close, and even got to walk across a scary rope bridge through the treetops.
In Plettenberg Bay, we met Elder & Sister O’Dell (from Arizona) who are serving in George, even further west. After a yummy lunch at Sao Goncales, a sort-of Portuguese restaurant on the side of the road, all five of us headed to the Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve, where we had a 3:00 reservation for a jeep safari tour.
This reserve was about 16 km north of the main road, and we saw zebra and springbok right after driving through the entrance. We arrived at the main lodge half an hour before our scheduled tour, so we walked around and saw all their skins and stuffed heads and such. The wind was blowing pretty hard, and I was getting quite cold. It’s supposedly the beginning of summer here, but you can’t convince me of that. I only brought two pair of long pants, so today I was wearing capris and was beginning to think that wasn’t very smart for an open-air jeep safari. So I broke down and purchased an expensive official Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve fleece jacket—and it’s a good thing I did. The tour was over two hours long. Dorothy and Raymond nearly froze to death; me only halfway.
This tour was amazing! The guide was able to take us around the park through all kinds of brush, forest, grassland, and ravines. Besides all the zebra and different species of antelope, we saw six hippos, three rhinoceros, three giraffes, four lions, eight or nine crocodiles, ostriches, a herd of wildebeest, and even an Egyptian mongoose. Except for the lions and crocodiles, everything was free-roaming and out in the open. It’s impossible to explain the feeling of being in Africa and experiencing it like this. The earth is an amazing place and supports so many different peoples, cultures, animals, and plants. I am so very privileged to have been able to experience so much in my lifetime.