We left out by 6:30 am for an early morning game drive with Mike. The weather was cool, dry and dusty. We rode around for a bit in search of the elusive black rhino. As we were driving around we saw a honey badger mother and baby. Finn describes the honey badger as looking like a small, wolverine and bear mixture. Mike told us the honey badger is aggressive and the mother will charge at us if we get too close to her baby. Honey badgers are nocturnal so we were really lucky to see these guys this morning. Next we saw several giraffes eating thorny bushes- Mike says to them while laughing "enjoy your spikey salad"! We learned that baby giraffes are the fastest growing newborn in the African bush.
Mike was kind enough to make the boys a handmade bow and arrow from a small branch off the tree. He used his machete to chop and carve this weapon. The boys were beyond thrilled! From getting the opportunity to watch Mike make these and then to be able to practice shooting into elephant dung! This kept the boys occupied for several hours while Paul and I enjoyed watching all the animals come to grab a drink of water from the waterhole.
Since Safarihoek lodge is on a private game reserve, the lodge was able to construct a blind directly in front of the watering hole. This blind is mainly used for professional photography or filming purposes but today the boys made it their hunting hideout. Mike let the boys shoot their newly made wooden bow and arrows into the water to try and catch a fish. Paul and I both laughed thinking, yeah right, this will never happen. Sure enough, Finn’s first shot he nailed a fish- perfect shot! Mike was more excited than Finn was! He was jumping up and down shouting ‘You got it you got it’! The look on Finn’s face was priceless, he was so happy and proud that he hit a fish on his first target. Nash gave it a good try but wasn’t able to hit one. By this time in was mid day and around 101 degrees. We were all starting to get hungry and tired. We had to literally pull the boys out of their hideout to head back to the lodge for lunch and a siesta!
Around 4:30 we headed back out for an evening game drive. We finally were able to spot the famous black rhino! We were actually fortunate enough to see a mom and her baby! We watched them for a few minutes but kept our distance. After seeing these dinosaur looking creatures, the boys talked all of us into going back to their waterhole spot so they could play ‘hunter gatherer’ again. We spent the entire evening at this blind- Paul and I watched all different mammals come and have a drink at the waterhole- oryx, springbok, elephants, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, jackal, group of wort hogs, waterbuck, and so many more! The most interesting one to watch drink was the giraffe- they have to spread their front legs wide and awkwardly bend down to reach the water. The oryx was interesting too- he would kneel down on his front legs to drink his water. While we were fixated on the activities at the waterhole, the boys were oblivious and later annoyed by the fact that the animals were interrupting their hunting. Mike would have them take a break when an animal was approaching the waterhole so the boys didn’t scare them off. This is probably the MOST memorable moment the boys have had this far on our trip!