Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Postcards from Africa, Friday, June 30

The safari begins!

We departed our hotel this morning at 8:00 a.m., went to have our 'American Breakfast' again and then checked into Johannesburg airport. We had a small problem with our luggage – they wouldn't let us take it with us. We took a small 50-seater plane and the pilot said the luggage was too heavy. After a stressful 15-20 minutes, we made alternative arrangements and solved the problem.

We landed at the Eastgate Airstrip which is an air force base in the middle of nowhere. From the airstrip, we rode for one hour to Motswari Game Reserve. After 'high tea,' we went on our first drive. We split up into groups of 8-10 and rode in open-air jeeps. We saw two female lions and three lion cubs and they came right up to our jeep. Some groups got to see the remains of a kill from two days ago, a mother elephant and her baby, and some antelope.

Once back at the lodge, we had dinner Boma style around an open campfire. The food was great and everyone is now headed to their huts. There will be no more moving from room to room tonight as the rangers advised us to remain in our rooms once there, because there is no fence around the camp and animals roam freely. Looks like the continuation of the spades tournament will have to wait until we get to Swaziland.

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