On Sunday to catch up on some of the riding we’ve missed due to morning drive and other activities, the riders me, Olivia and George went out on a 6 hour day ride. It all started great with Olivia on her favourite hippy boy, me on baurbaton my safe and stubborn pony and George on her favourite spirit.

Unfortunately half an hour into the ride spirit took a sharp turn at speed meaning George came off. Though the fall wasn’t bad she lost the reins and spirit went galloping away. George now without a horse was with our guide Tembar while he yelled at me and Liv to go catch spirit.

Meanwhile in the bush....

Meanwhile in the bush….

Unfortunately Spirit is one of the fastest horses on the yard and with me on Baurbaton, one of the slowest, We weren’t going to catch him with speed. Instead we followed the tracks he’d left as he speed of. It took us a good while with Liv following the tracks while I looked out for elephants before we realised we where heading back to the stables. We lost the tracks round gazebo but where confident that spirit had headed home and we where close now so we found our way back only to find our assumption where wrong. Spirit was no where to be found.

Now with no way to get in touch with our guide we made the decision to head to bush house where there was a radio to contact him with. We whete barely on the road when Tembar came racing along he has dropped George of at the stables.

Exploring.

Exploring.

When we explained spirit was no where to.be found we went to ask the elephant handlers they said he was round the back and sure enough going round the back of elephant camp there spirit was munching away at grass.

We grabbed him and though George didn’t rejoin the ride for that day after all that excitement Liv and me carried on with out day ride. Going up the mountain and through the thick bush collecting a lot of scratches on the way.

Campfire moments.

Campfire moments.

It was a very interesting start to a new week as on the Monday were of to Krugar for 3 days. We packed up duvets, pillows, Toothbrushes and everything else we needed then left for krugar at 6 in the morning. We didn’t see much on the first day until we went on a night drive and there in the middle of the road was a large male leopard. During the middle of the night as we slept we could also hear hyenas whooping making the experience of sleeping in the tent a very eerie experience.

The next day was another early start but it was well worth it. We saw a wild chethah that had killed an impala in the morning a baby rhino that we were told was only a few days old and to top it of a leopard and a large male lion as well as elephant and waterbuffol completing all the big 5. We where also given the opportunity to go to see the bush men paintings up on the mountains. Two guides walked us up and explained to us the age and meaning behind the beautiful drawing on the rocks.

We where all tired by the end of that night and ready for a braai, we had chicken on the go and we where all nearly ready to eat when the braai got knocked and the chicken coals and all went onto the floor. Which was when Jay dee our project leader suggested we should go eat at the restaurant instead. It was a shame but accidents happen and we had a nice meal instead.

We all got up again (early once more which is the running theme of this while trip but the early starts are always worth it) packed up the tents and ourself and headed out for our final drive before coming home. We saw a leopard sat in tree along the river, as we drove by we saw it climb down and further along we saw a pride of lions as well as lots of giraffe and herds of elephant. It ended up being a great few days and it was well worth the trip.

When we came back we had a big bombfire and a braai and spent a great night curled up talking and laughing round the fire.

The best day of this week however was Friday. We rode is the morning and then went to community and spent the afternoon climbing up fort rock and taking in the amazing views. It was all going to plan until we got back in the evening we’d all sat down to eat dinner when suddenly from outside we hear Lisa yell “Angus stay in your room!” as she scoped up ingwe, our project leaders little jack Russell puppy. We all ran to the window to see what the matter was just to see the herd of elephants drinking from the pool. Right next door to the boys room.

There was a mad rush as we all scrambled to get cameras and phones and flash lights. Myself and Ele legged it down the corridor to our room and got a great view from the bedroom window . We saw one of the plastic lawn chairs fly across the path. Liv rushed to open the door and get outside with them while I panicked behind not quite sure if we should but soon we where all outside. Nick was given ingwe and we heard Angus shout from his room, “guys, I can see two elephants and there looking at me quite menacingly.”

The other guides soon came to chase them away but as they tried the elephants began to charge. None of us had ever run so fast in out life back into the house.

Keegan knew what he was doing glady and soon they where soon on there way but we all agrees that, that close encounter to the wild elephants barely a few meters away was by far the best, scariest and most exciting moment we have had so far this week.

Just goes to show that anything can happen in the bush.