Last Days

Sunday morning we got to sleep in a little before we left for the safari. We left Cape Town around 10am. This was bittersweet because I was very excited about the safari but I was not ready to leave Cape Town yet. We all pilled on to the bus and headed for Aquila Game Lodge. We stopped about an hour into the drive at a gas station so we could get something to eat and use the restrooms. We got back on the bus and made the rest of the trip to the reserve. We got there a little after 12 and when we pulled up to the reserve it was not what I was expecting. I was expecting flat dry land but of course the day we got there is was pouring and it was very mountainous. We got there and had lunch and a little time to get ready for our first safari. We all went to put on a lot more clothes because it was about 20 degrees colder than it was in the city. We met back at 4pm for our first safari. They gave us all rain jackets and blankets because it was so cold and raining. We split up into two cars and made our way out to the reserve. We had a two hour game drive where we got to see lions, zebras, ostrich, and much more. The reserve was amazing. It sat in the middle of a bunch of mountains. There were a lot of animals just roaming around the reserve. We had to go into a special place to see the lions. They kept them all together and away from the other animals for safety reasons. It was very intimidating going into the lions area because we had to ride across electric fences that kept them from getting out. Also, it was fogging so we had no idea if we would see anything. Someone happened to look up on the mountain and see the outline of a lion. This was the coolest but erry thing because it was like they were looking down on us. After we finished out drive we headed back to the lodge to warm up. We got back and hung out before we had dinner. After dinner Dr. Turner’s friend Grant had a trivia game for us. We split up into groups and stated playing. It was all about animals in South Africa. There were plenty that we had no idea about but we learned from. The winning group only missed a few which was amazing. Our fun did not stop here. Dr. Turner went around asking everyone what his or her favorite part of the trip was. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip because we sat around as a group and laughed at all of the funny stories. The fun did not stop there; we got the winning skit group from class to do another skit. Cam, Andrew, and Katherine Anne had us all dying laughing from their skits about Mike and others of the group. We all decided it was about time for bed around 11pm since we had another game drive at 7am.

 

The next morning started early. We got up around 6am so we get bundle up again for another game drive. We got on the cars around 7am and headed for the reserve. That morning we got to see some animals we did not get to see the day before. We saw hippos, crocodiles, cheetahs, leopards, and elephants. We road around for about and hour and a half looking at all the animals. Right before we were about to leave we made a circle back to where we had been earlier and out of nowhere two elephants appeared. This was my favorite animal we saw the whole time. It was like they were playing just for us. We watched them for about 15 minutes; they just walked around our car playing with each other. This was an amazing site that I will never forget. We left there and headed back to the lodge where we had breakfast. After breakfast we had to pack everything up and get ready to go back to the airport. We had a two hour drive back to the airport and most of us slept the whole way there. We got to Cape Town’s airport and checked in. We left Cape Town around 2pm. We got to Johannesburg around 4pm and did not have much time before we had our international flight. This was bittersweet because I was ready to get home but very sad about leaving South Africa. We got on the plane around 6pm and had an 8 hour flight to Dakar; where we stopped to refuel. We left Dakar around 2am and headed towards the states. From Dakar we had another flight that was around 9 hours. We finally made it to Washington DC around 6:30 am after about 17 hours in the air. We got welcomed home when we got off the plane but then had to go through customs. This was not my most favorite thing at 6:30 in the morning. We got through that in about an hour and headed towards our gate. We left Washington DC around 8 am and got to Greenville around 9:30 am. I was so excited when we landed in Greenville. I was very tired from traveling and sleeping on an airplane. We all got to baggage claim and said our goodbyes, which was a sad time. We had all been together for 15 days and now had to go our separate ways until school started back.

 

I am so glad that I went on this trip. Not only did I learn a lot but I also met a lot of new friends that I never would have met had I not gone on this trip. This trip was a great experience that I will never forget. Writing this today I am still missing Cape Town and South Africa. Hopefully one day I will get to go back and visit again. It is a great place to go on vacation and take your family. 

-Katalin BramblettImageImage

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