A lodge worker arrived with our tea basket just before a very cloudy dawn. So we got up, washed, dressed and headed down to the main lodge, excited about a mornings trek through the African bush on horseback.
By 730am we were saddled and ready to go; Caroline riding Dabra, me on Samasung and our guide, Nicholas, riding Ballycat with our picnic breakfast in a rucksack on his back.
The ride was fantastic and I was shocked at how close the zebras and game came to us even though we continued to chat away in normal voices. Even in a vehicle I 've never been able to get near to Impala or Zebra and yet on a horse, they don't seem bothered at all. It took a few scary canters to get back into the swing of riding, but by 9am I was thoroughly enjoying it (although I can't say the same for my arse!).
When we returned from our ride at 11am we were told that a troop of vervet monkeys had gotten into our room/tent and pretty much trashed it - housekeeping had done their best to clear everything up, but when we got there we discovered that they had chewed through the toothpaste, eaten the good bacteria tablets, torn the cover of my wildlife guide and snapped all the cigarettes in half and thrown them over the balcony!
Unfortunately due to the lack of sunshine, there was also no hot water available for a shower, so I managed a cold one and Caroline decided not to bother. My arse was in agony and I had bruises all down one calf (despite wearing chaps) - only one thing for it.... a bottle of number 9.... Nederburg Chardonnay.
After another glorious 3 course lunch, we took our aching muscles and remaining wine back to our tent to chill out and have another go with the binoculars. A totally chilled afternoon.
Defassa and Common Waterbuck (pictured)
African Grey Hornbill
Helmeted Guinea Fowl
Starlings (irridesccent blue and purple - need to look up proper name)