I can’t express in words the emotions I am going through. My heart is heavy as I write this. I want to hold her in my arms and tell her that everything is going to be fine. I have no idea if this is true, but I would tell her that. My Simi is not quite 14 years old; it is not fair that dogs are only with us for about 15 years.
We debated returning back early, but will wait to hear the news tomorrow morning before deciding.
Morning Ride: We all decided that we wanted to see hippos today. Michael was at the wheel and Tom was tracking. The hippos were a bit far from the lodge and we were seeing plenty of animals on our way including this incredible encounter with a Black Rhino. Black Rhinos are critically endangered with only about 4,000 animals left in the wild.
We finally got to the hippos and saw about a dozen of them. The were lazing in the river snorting and bobbing at their leisure. We got out of the car and stood at the banks of the river adminiring the perfect spot they had chosen. A few Hadeda Ibises. Swallows and Grey Goaway Birds were grazing and fluttering around.
Drive to Satara: We checked out of Toro Yaka and started the drive into the heart of Kruger National Park. Tonight, we will be staying at Satara Rest Camp in a one bedroom bungalow. Satara is also called cat camp because the high concentration of big cats in that part of Kruger.
My heart was not into animals today. My heart was with Simi. As we departed, I talked to Shinga (the super-friendly dog at Toro Yaka) to send some positive doggie-vibes to Simi.
The drive to Satara had incredible game viewing. There is a well-maintained road that runs through the main points at Kruger. We saw herds of elephants, zebras, impala, water buck and plenty of birds on our drive to Satara.
The highlight was easily the pride of lions we saw lazing under a tree. As we were looking, one of them woke up and crouched looking into the distance. In about a minute, the lion started stalking. Exciting stuff, but we had no idea what the lion was hunting. After crouch-walking for a good 30 meters, it sat down. This is when we noticed a couple of wildebeest a few hundred meters away. They casually gazed at the lion (probably rolled their eyes) and lazily trotted off. We are not sure what the lion was thinking. It was far far away and hunting downwind. Rookie!
Night Ride: We had booked a night ride at Satara. Our heart was still with Simi, but we decided to go. As we were waiting to board the vehicle, I spoke to someone who had just returned from the evening ride. He told me that they saw a leopard in a tree with a kill and a few hyenas circling underneath. Wow! After showing us pictures on his SLR camera, he told us exactly where they saw this spectacle. We expected to take our guide-driver to show us the same leopard.
The guide was somewhat of an ass. After we boarded the large vehicle, he gave us a fifteen minute speech about how to use the search lights. We were all somewhat excited about the ride, but sat there in silence as he went on and on about how to move the search light from left to right. He eventually drove us on a different route than the one with the leopard kill. Yep, he was an ass. We didn’t see much except for a few bush babies, a few genets and a civet. The civet was a first for me in the wild.
I feel asleep with a heavy heart thinking of my Simi. Tomorrow, we will know more…