May 7 – Pretoriuskop

I woke up feeling refreshed after only about 5 hours of sleep, but it felt so good to sleep in a bed last night. The shower also felt wonderful.

My final flight to land in the Kruger National Park at Skukuza was scheduled for 10:00 am, but I still had to pick up the SIM card for the phone and have some breakfast, so I set out shortly after 6:00 am to get the shuttle. This way I would have plenty of time to get lost and find myself without worrying about being late. 🙂 It turned out to be a good thing I allowed extra time. LOL  I think I was still a bit sleep-deprived.

First the shuttle episode: I got on the shuttle with about 6 other people and when they asked to go to the domestic departures, that worked fine for me too – so that is where we went. Once we got there, I got out with the others, but since they were all together, I didn’t need to wait, so I went right in. Suddenly, I realized that I hadn’t taken my luggage from the shuttle and ran back outside – just as the shuttle was driving off. Ooops – I did it again. I had to phone the hotel and explain the situation and on the driver’s next drop-off he brought my luggage back. I then went in and dropped off my luggage and went looking for Vodacom.

Then the phone episode. I found the Vodacom store and was going to buy a SIM card with data to use on my IPhone. I had paid to have the phone unlocked earlier and I told the guy I had no idea what to do, so he got it all ready for me and said I had to enter my ICloud email and password. I never use ICloud, so I have absolutely no idea, but did try a few possibilities without success. I didn’t want to be without a phone completely and certainly couldn’t afford roaming data on my phone, so I went down to the other Vodacom store where they rented out basic phones. So, I just got a basic phone, and would not be able to post my pic of the day on Facebook or check in while I was gone. 😦

When I got back it was time to go through security, except that I didn’t get a boarding pass when I dropped off my luggage earlier, so I had to stand in that long lineup first. Luckily, they could see that the luggage had been dropped off and she printed out my boarding pass, so I could stand in the security lineup. Amazingly enough, I went through security without any problem and I was about 10 minutes early arriving at my gate.

The short flight in was beautiful. It was a little hazy, but I took pictures anyway.

If you look closely at the last picture showing a river, you can see Hippos – so I guess they are my first sighting.  🙂

We had a great landing at the park and I got my wild card and picked up my car – all without much incident – or so I thought. The Avis guy was a little difficult and made a few mistakes on the form, which I should have caught at the time, but I just wanted to get my car and go. Skukuza Airport is really small, but really nice – so I took pics.

First critter sighting once I left in the car were a couple of Impala, followed quickly by a couple of Vervet Monkeys (who were camera shy),

a Pied Wagtail (thanks for the ID Katja Boll) who nicely posed front and back for me,

a family of Warthogs,

a Giraffe,

and then a very sleepy Lioness having a snooze right beside the road.

Next was a large flock of Vultures circling in the distance. I couldn’t see what they were looking at, but I’m sure it looked tasty to them.

I also had a dove (think a Laughing Dove) take off just as I snapped, so I have an in motion picture.

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I then checked into Pretoriuskop, sent out my daughter’s birthday card, so it would have an African postmark (since that is where I am on her birthday),  looked around camp and took some pictures of my tiny bungalow

In camp, I have seen more Vervet Monkeys (these ones are not shy),

and several Helmeted Guinea Fowl.

The shop here has a very colourful Rhino and they take donations in it.  I had to put some Rand in it.  🙂

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