Location: Richards Bay, South Africa
While half the group was lioning around, the other half was out on a safari seeing the wildlife that South Africa has to offer, and it was LIT. For those parents out there wondering, the safari group was me, Claire Rob, Claire Mill, Al Murph, Henry, Mara, Grace, Jonluc, Matt, Hugh, Nick H, Alex, Petey, Ana, escorted by Simon, Lindsay, Steph, and THE FIRST MATE MAN Eric, pictured below where he will be starring as the newest reincarnation of Blade Runner.
Our day began by waking up at 4 am in a real bed, with a plush pillow (or three) and fluffy comforter at the Lodge because Seamester treated us to an overnight safari excursion. We drove to the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park-Nyalazi Gate (props to whoever can pronounce that), where we began our 6-hour safari tour. Right off the bat, we were greeted by elephants that were roaming through the hills of the reserve. From there, we continued to drive around where we were lucky enough to see 4 out of the “Big 5” animals: elephant, rhino, lion, and cape buffalo. Strangely, the giraffe is not a part of the “Big 5,” despite our tour guide pointing out that giraffes are the world’s tallest animal! Although we kept our eyes peeled for leopards slumping in the trees, we were not able to spot any. In addition to the big five, we saw zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, warthogs, bushbucks, impalas, antelopes, and most importantly, dung beetles.
Along with seeing the vast majority of the animals on all of our bucket lists, we were treated to breakfast during the tour, where we were all overly ecstatic about having hot coffee. Just before the safari ended, our trucks came face to face with an elephant that refused to deviate from its course (nav pun!), which led to some remarkable pictures. After the safari, we treated ourselves to some smoothies, salads, acai bowls, and basically any fresh fruit we could get our hands on. It is safe to say today will be one of our favorite memories of the entire trip.
On the real, going back to my opening statement about the second group being on the boat, they actually put in a lot of work cleaning bilges, doing navigation work, and anything else that was needed to maintain the integrity of the boat, which we were all very thankful for. They depart for safari the day after Thanksgiving, and we are all looking forward to them having the same amazing experience as us! Finally, to anyone wondering what Henry is doing, putting his arm around no one, it was actually marking the place where Charlotte would be if she were considered to be friends with those in the first group. (PSA: this is a joke, we love Charlotte very much)
Well, that’s a wrap for my last day as skipper rip to a good time! It’s insane that this trip is only 21 days from being over, but we are all still very excited for our sail to Cape Town and whatever other adventures Seamester has in store for us!
To the fam out in Wisco right now I hope all is well sending love and prayers from South Africa!