Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Black Rhino Lodge - Pilanesberg

Our drive from Clifftop Lodge in Welgevonden, in the Waterberg to Black Rhino Lodge in Pilanesberg, took us approximately 4 hours from lodge to lodge, on our arrival we were shown to our room which comprised of twin beds which could be made into a king sized bed, a lounge area, huge bath and both indoor and outdoor showers. Our unit shared a pool and lounge area with another room, so it was not quite private but for 2 couples traveling together it would be great. As Black Rhino Lodge wasn’t full there was no one else in the other unit so we had the whole area for ourselves.

After a quick lunch we were ready for our afternoon game drive in Pilanesberg where we saw the usual such as impala, Blue Wildebeest, warthog, banded mongoose as well as a very brief sighting of a meerkat, we then found a herd of elephant, well at least the stragglers of the heard, it was a mother with a baby but then on closer inspection we saw she actually had 2 babies, the second baby was so small you could only just see the top of its head and ears over the long grass, such a cutie, unfortunately they moved off into the bush. We tried to circle around on another road to see if they would come out again but alas the stayed where they were, we then stopped for sun-downers and enjoyed a beautiful sun set. On the night drive back to Black Rhino Lodge we come across a herd of Elephant but couldn't find the lion we were searching for, so it was back to the lodge for dinner to warm us up.

The next morning we were off for a full days drive in the Pilanesberg National Park so breakfast was at 08h00 and we set off for the day at 09h00, we only got back to the lodge at 15h00 our full day game viewing in the Pilanesberg Park was quite good. We saw plenty of giraffe, zebra, springbok, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, impala, warthog, waterbuck, Elephant, plenty of hippo, all out of the water sunning themselves – it really was a cold day – banded mongoose, a Kori bustard which is the largest flying bird and to top it all off we spotted our very first black rhino! Unfortunately the rhino was a fair distance off in the bush but through the binoculars you could definitely see it was a black rhino! We stopped at a view site for a drink and to soak in the beautiful view. This also the main center for something warm to drink and to stretch our legs, we made it back to the lodge a little later than expected so had lunch at 15h00 instead of the normal 14h00, also as there were new guests in camp we were back on the vehicle at 16h00 for the afternoon game drive! It literally was a full day of game driving.

The afternoon drive was just as eventful as we managed to find the herd of Buffalo along with Elephant, Kudu, impala and a mother white Rhino with a small calf nicknamed ‘peanut’ who was so very cute running around his mum and in the road in front of us, unfortunately it was just too dark to take a picture but it was so sweet to see him bounding around, eventually his mum decided that was enough excitement and moved him off into the bushes.

On our final morning at Black Rhino Lodge we were up super early and on the vehicle by 06h00 as we decided to go to the view point to watch the sun rise over a cup of hot chocolate, all I can say is I was pretty much frozen the entire drive to the view point! I have never been so cold on all my game drives and this was through my thick ski jacket, boots, gloves, a scarf and a beanie! But it was most definitely worth it as the sun rise was spectacular and although pictures never do it justice I have included one below. Once we had all warmed up a little we were off again spotting Elephant, Wildebeest, Zebra, Impala and Black Backed Jackal, we were back at the lodge by 08h30 and breakfast was waiting for us, after breakfast and packing we left Pilanesberg National Park and were off to our next lodge – Jaci’s Tree Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve.

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