|Hi family and friends! Sorry it has taken me a few days to write, our stay at Kapama Karula (place of peace) has been spectacular! Just from the airport to the lodge we saw giraffe, zebra and elephants! The lodge is unbelievable....we have our own safari guide (Abrie) and tracker (Elvis) for every drive. They are fantastic and very well educated on all of these animals, the bird and grounds and even the happenings amongst the male lions to be king (fight between 3 sons and the dad who lost and and lost an eye in the battle). Our villa has its own infinity pool. In fact, I am on the deck now writing list and listing to the wonderful sounds of nature and the river. All the staff know you by name and make every effort to met your every need. We are paired on safari with a family (mom, dad, daughter) from CA; the mom has been ill and they have been making her special means and taking them to her villa. Amazing staff here! And I did make it to the spa today for a massage...outstanding! On to the safaris....they are fantastic. We start the day with a 530am wake up call; a light breakfast at 6am and then drive starts at 630am (typically a 3 hour game drive). About half way through you find a nice place (and safe) to stop and get out of the truck to stretch and have coffe, tea or hot chocolate with a muffin or shortbread. Once we return to the lodge breakfast is available and we have free time for lunch, pool, spa, a nap, etc until high tea at 330pm and evening drive at 4pm. During the evening drive we stop for a drink/cocktail , and snack at sunset (around 6pm). Every game drive experience has been out of this world! Today we will go on our 5th drive at this lodge. We have now seen and photographed all of the big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, white rhino and Cape buffalo). The lion and leopard experience have been so cool. I shared the video of the male lion, that was unbelievable!! We haven’t seen any more male lions (there are just 4 here) but we have seen 3 groups of female lions (including 5 cubs and the mother of the 3 boys I mentioned above). Yesterday we found two lioness with 5 cubs eating a kill (buffalo) and today we went back they were still in that area eating on it. Pretty gross but that’s the circle of life here. Last night we chased out of the bush a female leopard and that was amazing...so much adrenaline. We did capture photos because she moved so fast to get away (we were near her kill). Today we were able to see a leopard cub run out of the bush but no photos. Luckily, after a long drive across the reserve we were able to get great photos of a leopard just lounging in the bush. Can’t believe we were just 10 yards away and she barely moved. We have been so close to all the animals its amazing. We did have a rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo give us some threateningly behaviors so we respect their space and move along. LOL oh look here is monkey in the tree to my right. Time to get it together for today’s drive. The tempature does cool down once the sun sets so a light jacket has been good. Mornings are cool too but once the sun is up, it surely warms up! We have seen so many different animals its amazing...aside from the big 5 we have seen monkeys of course, hippos, zebra, giraffe, antelope, impala, nyala, tons of birds, water buck, small cats (civil cat and genit - not sure how to spell those), jackals, tons of kinds of birds, warthogs, wildebeest and kudu. OK I do need to get going. I hope you enjoy the photos!! Sending hugs and much love from S. Africa! Tomorrow afternoon it is one to Johannesburg until Monday.