Today was our last day with the race group, we saw lots of animals today. This morning we went into the rehabilitation part of Entabeni Conservancy, it’s where they help endangered animals (like rhinos, white lions and wild dogs). Rhinos (most likely babies) are there because their mothers were killed by poachers for their horns, they grow up there and even might get released back into the conservancy someday. White lions are super rare, it’s a rare gene (not albino) and they’re heavily hunted by poachers because of the high value for a rare kind of lion. Wild dogs (Chris’s favorite) are usually killed by ranchers b/c they’re a threat to their livestock – there’s about only 500 wild dogs left in South Africa and about 3,000 in all of Africa. This rehab center is working to make sure these animals don’t disappear and might hopefully be able to be released into the wild.
After the tour, we went on our last game drive 🙁 and I was really hoping to see elephants, but we didn’t. I’m still jealous that Chris has seen them and I haven’t. We saw a crocodile and two young lions (brother and sister) that we hadn’t seen yet, so that was good!
After our game drive, we had our last dinner with everyone – we all exchanged contact info and want to try to keep in touch. It’s pretty fun to have friends from all over the world – so many opportunities to go to Netherlands, England, New Zealand (or even Iowa!) now. We also told people we have a place if they’re into skiing. 😉
Heres what one of the wild dogs looks like, pretty much like a domestic dog, just bigger and not as friendly – I think he wants to be Penguin’s boyfriend! Check out those big ears!
There are two males in the park, they’re buddies. They hang out as a pack in the wild (similar to wolves) and have a leader.
There are 6 lions within rehabilitation part – here’s 4 of them. The male in the middle with the darker mane is alpha male, the lighter colored male in the background is not. The alpha gets to hang with the ladies and do what he wants.
Even come up and pester the white lion. He’s licking her here, teasing her.
She doesn’t like it! But he’s boss.
We then saw another couple of parent lions and their cubs. Here’s their 3 babies, only about 3 months old. It’s likely that these ones will go into the nature conservancy some day.. the staff at rehab works hard to keep them “wild” so they can go in and survive on their own.
Then we looked at tortoises, they were cute.
After lunch, we went on our last game drive – saw this pretty bird and thought of our friend Nate, he loves birdwatching. This is an swamphen or swamp hen, it looks kind purple.
Shortly after seeing the purple bird, we drove along and saw this lady, Mrs. Chompers crocodile.
We weren’t really this close, just have a good zoom on our camera. She’s pretty fat, they’re thinking she must have just ate.
This is the first time we saw these two! (last day!) These are the siblings of the lion we saw earlier. They’re brother and sister and will normally hang out together until they’re about 2 years old. Pretty lazy when we saw them, huh?
Chris with the lions behind him. Notice the guy listening to his headphones on a game drive? Geez. I’m not sure what was so important to listen to!
Some giraffes saying goodbye to us on our last day in Entabeni!
And goodbye from the wildebeest! We had a really great time in Entabeni!
We took a break from out game drive to have drinks and snacks for happy hour before dinner. It’s only about 5:30pm in this photo – it’s winter here and normally totally dark by 6:00.
At our farewell dinner, the table I was at with some friends all passed around a candle and said our favorite parts of the trip. I said I enjoyed running the marathon and getting to know some great people.
Here’s Chris’s turn, does he look cheesy or what? He said his favorite part was seeing the elephants and was sad that I didn’t get to see them too.