Our 5 star Shamwari Experience Part 3

5.30 a.m. in the morning – is this the time to get up? If you want to see the best animals it is and it is quite amazing how nobody seems to miss out on this opportunity.

We decided we wanted to see buffalo and leopard – the last of the Big 5! Leopards must be about the most elusive animals, especially for me as I have been looking for them for more years than you can believe, but I always live in hope of seeing one.

We started off driving nearby and then went into another area of the reserve and saw the Buffalo. These have been separated as the lions were killing the calves. We saw them very quickly, but in the distance and when we tried to get nearer they had hidden themselves in the thicket. This section of Shamwari has a different eco system to the other side and there were lots of prickly pears bushes which were quite a sight as they are covered with beautiful orange flowers.

We drove back to the main Shamwari area and on the plains saw herds of buck, Blesbuck, Springboks, water buck and wildebeest. We suddenly were off – very fast for a game viewing area and heading for the river – a leopard had been spotted along the banks. Great excitement – at last – was I going to see my leopard?

There were about 4 vehicles looking for him – the bush is very thick around the river bank and as we were driving along I wandered how many leopards could be just feet away from us and we wouldn’t know. After a while he was spotted and as the policy is that not too many vehicles can be at one spot at a time we waited out turn to see him. He was lying under a bush but after a while got up and moved a little way to lie in the sun. I have finally seen my leopard and he was beautiful!!

We then went driving around looking at different animals and back to the lodge for breakfast. Breakfast is definitely a meal you would not want to miss!

There is a display of fruit, cold meats and cheese, yoghourt, cereals, porridge, rolls, croissants, muffins plus juices. The main breakfast you order from your waitress and there are about 5 choices, one of which is the full African Breakfast.

After breakfast you can do what you want to until the 16h00 game drive. They have a full Spa and at breakfast time they come and ask if you want any treatments. If you don’t want to be so organized, a book – a lounger at the pool and relaxing is the order of the day. A sleep after breakfast is also a good idea as by this time you have been out and about in the fresh air for quite a while.

Lunch is from 12h30 to 14h30, so you can choose when you wish to eat.

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