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About to leave again #256490 05/09/23 07:00 PM
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Ngaire Online OP
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This will be a fairly long trip.

Starting the Voyager on May 14, from Athens to Istanbul. Greece and Turkey ports. Then a group of us are going to Capadoccia, the land of the fairy chimneys. This will be our third or fourth trip and it is a unique and special place to visit. So looking forward to this immensely. Link to pictures from a prior trip below. This is a place I think everyone should try and see, very special.

https://ngaire.smugmug.com/TOURS/Cappadocia-Turkey/

Then after that I am off again to South Africa to go on safari. Also one of my most favorite things to do. Always great pictures from safaris. You never know what you may see.

We leave on Friday and I promise to post pictures during the trip. Thanks to Kim I can do that now!!

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256491 05/10/23 04:30 PM
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Cappadocia is a fascinating place. Will you be staying at the Museum Hotel again? Great memories!


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Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256492 05/10/23 07:43 PM
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We are doing the REGENT Capaddocia post cruise program so unfortunately not the Museum Hotel. I remember us taking a picture of you and Jerry in your cave bedroom. You were sitting on the bed. We had a ton of fun on that trip.

It was substanially less expensive for all of us and we will still see the wonderful sights that Cappadocia offers - but you are right i will miss the Museum Hotel.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256494 05/12/23 09:08 PM
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Things are off to a good start. Security was a breeze. We signed up for CLEAR. Which worked great, scanned our eyes and taken to the front of the TSA line. Did not have to take anything out.

First flight to Toronto the meal was great. Tender chicken, nice salad and cheesecake. Better than most international flights.

The Air Canada Lounge in Toronto has a sit down restaurant. We both had ginger sweet potato soup, Ken had Cod and I had beef tenderloin. All good.

Waiting now for fresh berries with orange sorbet and Ken is getting Chocolate cake and ice cream

Yes life is GOOD.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256495 05/12/23 09:14 PM
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256496 05/13/23 03:14 AM
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My daughter and SIL are boarding in Istanbul when you get off. Celebrating a 10 year anniversary. Please keep the photos of the Voyager coming as this will be their first Regent cruise. I have shared all of my photos with them and will share all of yours. Have a wonderful cruise.

Jay

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256497 05/14/23 09:54 AM
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Just boarded the Voyager...love the new (to me) expedited boarding process. 10 minutes from cab to gangway.


"Life is dull without a Cruise to look forward to!"
Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256498 05/16/23 10:18 AM
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Life is good on the Voyager. Food has been good. Dinner first night with Chris and Linda and second night with Dick and Kate. Both very enjoyable.

This is an exceptionally busy cruise no sea days. At trivia yesterday there were only 3 teams. We only got 8 right but that was enough to get first place, second place was 5 right. We will see what happens this afternoon.

Having a cocktail party is hard because of late tours. We are doing the part tonight at 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm ( will be a lot of late arrivals) and then the Captains welcome reception is 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm.

Will post a few shots of Rhodes. We decided just to walk into Rhodes. Following us are a Viking ship and Virgin Cruises. The Virgin ship is called Resilient Lady. Really an ugly looking ship painted grey.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256499 05/16/23 01:01 PM
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Dick and Kate enjoying my daughter Cindys, special Margarita. Dick and Kate call it cindarita.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Pictures from Rhodes.

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Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256501 05/17/23 02:30 PM
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So today we arrived in Alayna, Turkey. We were here quite recently and did a tour so we decided to just walk into town.

As we were about to come back we saw one of the little tourist trains and decided to do that. Glad we did it took us to the downtown and around all the beach areas. I had no idea this was such a tourist area. Extremely popular destination.

The weather was perfect, warm but not hot, bright sunshine and no wind. I will post some pictures below.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256502 05/17/23 02:34 PM
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
Beautiful vegetation including these stunning flowering trees.

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Some really small cars.

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A massive area full of shopping

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There quite a few of these boats sailing in the harbor. 5 euros per person. We did not do this as we heard the loud speaker commentary and not for us. However, they were interesting and each boat had a different back with a huge character.

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Ken liked this shot. The waterfront was interesting with a lot of activity.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256503 05/18/23 06:24 PM
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So due to high winds we had to miss our next port, Limassol, Cyprus. This was not announced until around 6.30 pm. We stayed docked until the next morning and had a day at sea.

As many of you know we now do a private KLT lunch on a sea day. So at 6.35 pm I asked the ship if they would be able to give us the KLT private like we usually do on a sea day. They came through and did a fantastic job.

The meal was great with lobster, a king cod paupiette with prawn mouse and a beef medallion followed by a Grand Mariner Souffle. After we finished this great meal the tables stayed for quite awhile just talking. What was great was nearly everyone is going to Cappadocia so this a nice time to get to know each other.

Tonight we had dinner with Chris, Linda, Dick and Kate in Chartreuse. It was very good. Following will be a picture of Chris and Linda at dinner.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]



Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256504 05/18/23 10:14 PM
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Thank you for the updates. :LCT:


Jim

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256505 05/19/23 02:52 PM
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The lunch sounds just spectacular. We love cappadocia--haven't been there in a long time, but the cave hotel was very cool.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256507 05/20/23 01:00 PM
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So today we are in Kos, Greece. We tendered to port and did a tour to the ruins of an ancient hospital. Huge area of ruins on three levels. Lots of ruins but really not much to photograph.

Then onto to a small mountain town called ZIA which was delightful. Right at the bus stop was an inviting ice cream stand. Of course I have to keep up my tradition of trying find the best sorbet in the world. They had a mango/passion fruit sorbet. Not on display, I said I liked passion fruit and he pulled it out from under the counter. It was great fresh passion fruit on the top, yummy but not out ranking the passion fruit sorbet in France.

We walked the town, flowers, views of the ocean just delightful. Shops full of things I did not want nice to look at.

After such a great first sorbet I went back to get a rasberry/blackberry sorbet. Fantastic. He asked where we were from and he got all excited as his friend had been to Dallas. He called him over and great enthusiasm about Dallas/Texas/USA. I noticed the lemons they were HUGE. He said they are grown in the garden behind his restaurant, and he uses them for the lemon sorbet. I was tempted but decided two sorbets were enough.

Will post pictures below.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256508 05/20/23 06:24 PM
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256510 05/21/23 11:36 AM
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Our tour today about five hours. We went WAY UP a mountain to a monastery.
It was quite pretty and worth seeing. A delightful small chapel, lots of attractive foliage, and a great view. Then we back on the bus and went even higher to a plateau where there were agriculture fields. We stopped at a restaurant and tasted some local produce. Then off to see the windmills on the way back. It was an extensive time in the bus but on the way back Linda and I played scrabble. That made the time pass quickly.

I will post some pictures below.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256511 05/21/23 11:41 AM
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
Chris and Ngaire at the Monastery.

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The red flowers look similar to Pohutukawa trees in New Zealand. These flowers have “itching powder” and the boys at school would put it down the girls back. Bought back some memories for me.

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The winding roads on the mountain side.

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The windmills

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256512 05/22/23 08:20 AM
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So today we are in Bodrum. We took the shuttle into town. Huge area of winding streets with all kinds of shops. Lots of fake bags and jewelry. The harbor is full of all different types of boats. Beautiful day, sun is shiny but it is not hot. A few pictures will follow.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256513 05/22/23 09:59 AM
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
The outside display of two people kissing an all cotton clothing shop.

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Walking through local neighborhoods, very narrow alley ways, lots of scooters and such beautiful flowering trees. Note the flowers on the door to the house.

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Not sure what this replica of a wooden boat was all about but Ken took the picture so I posted it.


Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256514 05/25/23 08:52 AM
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Bozcaada was our port call. A small island close to Istanbul. We just walked into town. We visited the castle and had it all to ourselves. As we were leaving the tours arrived. Large castle great views of the Harbor and town. A far number of graves but only one headstone was ornate.

Fortunately on Wednesdays they have a big market. Lots of vegetables and souvenirs, really fun to wander around.

This must be a busy island with lots of tourists as alley after alley was filled with small restaurants and tables. All very colorful.

Pictures will follow.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256515 05/25/23 08:55 AM
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
The ornate grave stone

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Nice place to sit

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The market

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The tents of the market from the castle.
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One of the alley ways

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All the restaurants were decorative I liked this one v

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Seating for children with the appropriate back drop

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256516 05/26/23 05:32 AM
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Istanbul. Today we went to see the Dolmabahce Palace and then onto the Four Seasons Hotel for high tea. We enjoyed the tour of the palace we did it last year as well. We were with Dick, Linda and Chris, five of us. The afternoon tea was great. Scones with Jam and Cream. Along with a cream ball filled with passion fruit. I was in heaven. We were seated next to the sea.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256517 05/29/23 03:04 PM
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Cappadocia was fantastic as always. First morning it was perfect conditions for the ballon ride. Everyone had a great time, it definitely was the highlight of the trip. This is such a magical place. I have been three times before and still saw areas I had not seen before. Out guide was excellent. He took us to see his aunt who is in her eighties. She wanted us to come inside her house but the guide said no if we did that we would never get out. I will post a picture of her. I need to get Ken’s pictures and will post those when I can. So many pictures going to take a while to pick the best ones.

Our hotel was not great, but acceptable. A maze of flights up and down very confusing. Food very average. So much Turkish food is what I call mush. I lived on a fruit salad and green salad. Finally on the last day we went to a very nice restaurant and got a nice plate of steak and mushrooms. Plus six of us are allergic to onions so they made six plates without onions.

Yesterday was Election Day in Turkey. Lots of places were closed and when we flew back to Istanbul and were driving to the Intercontinental Hotel (which was great) celebrations were at full blast. People waving flags, loud music from the cars and people sitting on the windows. Some cars had giant flags.

Sitting in the lounge now with Chris and Linda waiting for our flight to Doha and then to JNB. Cannot wait to go on safari again.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256518 05/29/23 03:56 PM
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BALLOON SHOTS

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256519 05/29/23 04:08 PM
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The underground where they lived to avoid the Romans. The group in the underground. The second picture shows the narrow tunnels.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

This lovely girl posed for Ken. That made him happy

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Ngaire and Kate.

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Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256520 06/02/23 10:58 AM
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SO WE ARE NOW ON SAFARI.

Been super busy but it is SO GREAT to be back in the bush. Plus seeing people from the 2021 safari just a fantastic group. We at Dulini and all is good. Nice rooms, great staff and the food has also been good.

Some basic details on our first two days. Highlights included.

Leopard in a tree with a kill. Two lions arrived and one climbed the tree grabbed the kill. Sheila got a video of fighting interaction with the leopard and the lion fighting in the tree. We did not get to see all of this but we did see the other vehicles pictures and videos. An amazing sighting. We arrived just in time to see leopard come down the tree. Then we followed the leopard through the bush and he finally climbed a termite mound and posed for us against a pink sunset.

LIONS.
One male with two females. A lion really close to a buffalo who was not aware of her presence. She quietly called for help to take him down but no one came. A mating pair, stunning male lion and a not very interested lioness.\

ELEPHANTS
Close encounter of the scary kind - but exciting. A huge bull elephant. There is a tree the elephants shake to eat the fruit. They elephants were gathered there. One HUGE elephant bull, biggest I have even seen in this area with HUGE tusks, looked at us shook his head (but his ears did not go against his body - that is a sign of “intent to charge”) and walked past our vehicle so close you could touch him. Theh later we parked in the field and the elephants with little ones were around the car. Always fun.

WEATHER
Reallly strange. Not cold in the mornings or evenings and not hot during the day. Dark clouds and white clouds, gorgeous sky, Ken got a shot of a rain falling from a cloud I will post it. I love this weather I hope it continues.

Ken has good shots but no time to work on them yet. I have a few on his phone that I will post below.



Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256521 06/02/23 11:25 AM
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Shot of Doha from the plane

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


The unique cloud with the rainfall.

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Leopard with sunset in the background.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]



Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256522 06/02/23 03:06 PM
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Ngaire asked me to post this video of a big bull elephant. It's really good. I could only put it on YouTube and post the link. Let me know if can't see it.

Big Bull Elephant

Re: About to leave again [Re: seadog] #256523 06/02/23 04:01 PM
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The link takes me to You Tube but it says the video is “Private”.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256524 06/02/23 04:46 PM
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Lori - please try again. I’m a YouTube novice.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256525 06/02/23 07:23 PM
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Another nice game drive the highlights were as follows:
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Saddle Bill Stork- stunning bird. Flew in and landed near our vehicle and proceeded to fish. Strange way he walked almost like a dance. He caught a tilapia. Pecked it to death and swallowed it whole. I think that counts as a kill.

Two male Nyala looked like they were going to fight. Strange behavior - walking in slow motion, picking their legs way up as they walked, and the hair on their back (that is normally flat) spikes way up. Never seen this before.

Leopard. The Hippos were going crazy as he was on the dam. Followed him for a long time. It was getting dark and it was a lot of fun. We finally lost him and gave up just to find him again on the road in front of us as we left.

Pictures will follow later.

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[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

Re: About to leave again [Re: seadog] #256526 06/03/23 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by seadog
Ngaire asked me to post this video of a big bull elephant. It's really good. I could only put it on YouTube and post the link. Let me know if can't see it.

Big Bull Elephant


The link should work now.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256527 06/04/23 12:45 PM
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Moved lodges now at Makanyi. Lunch was great, they always have wonderful fruit along with a delicious chicken breast with mushroom sauce. Changing lodges there is little down time so hopefully more I can post more pictures tomorrow.

Highlights of first game drive.

Giraffe, wart hogs, and general plains game

While we enjoying sundowners and we’re all out of the vehicle a WILD DOG popped up on the road in front of us. There were three dogs that crossed the road a few times. Rangers said nothing to worry about they are not interested in people.

Male and female lions, Lion posing on a termite mound.

From Dulini courtesy of Linda a leopard mother and 3 month old cub. The cub is in the left hand corner of the picture.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256528 06/05/23 09:19 AM
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Following pictures are from people in the group.

We had a great first morning at Makanyi as you will see from the pictures below. Leopard immediately on leaving the lodge. Cheetah that we followed for quite a while. She went to the top of a termite mound three times. Elephants doing their thing including one shaking a tree to get fruit down on the ground. He was shaking the wrong tree - no fruit. Baby Zebra.

I love Makanyi they have the best fruit, always including passion fruit my favorite.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256529 06/05/23 10:36 AM
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A better picture of the three month old leopard cub.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

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Steenbok, a small African antelope found in South Africa. Hiding in the bushes.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256530 06/06/23 02:17 AM
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June and I are really enjoying the photos. Brings back great memories of the animals and more so the good times with the people. Many of our fondest folks are on this safari.

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256531 06/06/23 04:28 PM
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Ngaire, I love your beautiful photos....as always ! Thanks for sharing.


Marcie

Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256532 06/07/23 09:56 AM
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We missed the game drives yesterday as we went to visit two new camps. Tanda Tula and Royal Portfolio's Waterside. Tanda Tula is still under construction there must have been 40 workers on the property. I think this lodge is going to be a winner that I will use in the future.

Of course since we were gone, two of the vehicles saw wild dogs. The dogs had found an impala leg and were busy feeding on that. They had good game drives.

This morning was quiet, we found tracks of a pride of lions with cubs but could not find them. The grass is high due to the unusual amount of rain that has occurred for this time of year.

Afternoon game drive was quiet at first as we were looking for the dogs. We saw about five rhino really upclose, two bull elephants that were stripping bark off branches, then continued on the search for the dogs. Finally we found ONE dog who ran right by us and disappeared. These Makanyi dogs are pesky.

The night ended with nine hyenas surrounding a single female lion. This lion appears to have been separated from her pride and is wandering around calling for the pride for two days now. We all wanted the hyenas to retreat and fortunately they did that and left the loness alone. Tomorrow we head to Mala Mala.

Ken has posted some new pictures above this post.


Re: About to leave again [Re: Ngaire] #256533 06/09/23 11:20 AM
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So happy to be at Mala Mala again. The rennovations are great and it still has the tradional feel of the traditional Rattrays. The dining and bar area is now accessable through sliding grass doors.

First night they did dinner the traditional way it was done for our group. With soup first (which was outstanding) and then platters of vegetables, lamb leg (that was also outstanding) and chicken. Tonight we are trying the ala carte menu. It is the same menu every night but with choices for entree and main. After tonight we will vote on which way they want to go for the next two nights, "traditional" or the ala carte menu.

First drive our ranger was on a mission to find the lion with the small cubs. We went South and normally less animals in this area, we did not see much. Coming back north there was a leopard on the hunt we were going to be joining the sighting. However we got a flat tire. Leopard ahead and unfortunately an elephant herd behind. He actually changed the tire with the elephants fairly close behind the vehicle. He did it all in 15 minutes. The leopard was hunting but it was dark now. She was very close to a group of impala when we left but it was getting really late. No sign of a kill there this morning.

Today we went North, our sightings included baboons up close playing in the trees, elephants, giraffes, antelope, and then we stopped for drinks with another vehicle and took a group shot. I need to get a copy so I can post.

Then we found a female leopard. She was a big beautiful leopard that was mobile and we followed her for quite a while. Then we got a call from the ranger that was determined to find the lion cubs from yesterday. He had found three lioness with four cubs from 2 months to 3 months old. Adorable. Moms were sleeping. cubs walking around but not as active as I had seen in the past.

All is good at Rattrys!!




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