Monday, January 26, 2015

south africa's rhino & lion nature reserve

... the rhino & lion nature reserve ...
this place is a must-see in south africa.
i think this was my favorite day of the 
trip in terms of animal interaction.
between two different safaris and
a drive through kruger, we saw a lot
of animals this trip -- but nothing
was better than interacting with them
at this nature reserve! best day ever.

we drove into the reserve and went straight to the
animal crèche {cradle} with baby lions and tigers!
i was so excited i couldn't even stand it. seeing the
little guys made me giddy! it is amazing. you can 
choose which ones to pay and go in to pet and play
with, so we chose the one with a baby lion and tiger.
^^ here kitty kitty!
how cute can he be? ^^ look at those eyes.
^^ pure happiness
HIS PAWS!!! ^^ he is going to be huge one day.

i clearly could not contain my excitement ^^

after lots of playing we checked out the pretty
cheetah and other animals in the crèche...
then we drove out into the reserve hoping to see
some animals...and came upon the best thing ever.
is this real life?! these lions were BY FAR my 
favorite animal sighting in south africa. by far.
^^ this one passed in front of our car countless
times, protecting his pack. we rolled up the windows
as he walked by because he was SO CLOSE TO US!

we could not believe mufasa and his pals were
RIGHT outside our window in our own car.
we were screaming of excitement and a little fright!!
^^ lioness showing off for the camera
i think this is my favorite picture i took on the trip...
pretty amazing to see the female lioness right in
front of us and the male lion in the rearview mirror!
objects in mirror are definitely closer than they appear :)
^^ blue blue african skies
oh hiii! ^^

most beautiful animal ^^ 
it is unbelievable how huge they are.
^^  we loved seeing him licking and cleaning her!
then they were bored with us and 
snoozing by the time we left. love them!!
^^ spotted another snoozing hippo as we drove on..
^^ along with these pretty ostriches,
^^ and a cheetah + the coolest long-tailed bird 
we ended our day by making new 
giraffe friends at the neck deck :)
^^ giraffe selfie, ha!
i took ten million pictures of them. cutest animal!

i think this one wanted to kiss my mom for rubbing its neck!

^^^ do you think i was excited? :)

the best part about this reserve is that it's right
by an amazing bike loop and the cradle of humankind.
it was so fun to bike this loop with my mom & dad
and do breakfast along with visiting the reserve!
a pretty unbeatable day in my book...
now i just need to bring chase back here!!
daddy-daughter bike ride. he is the best {and most fit} dad.
loveliest brunch after biking ^^

the rhino & lion reserve has a 140 rand 
entrance fee, which is about $12 USD to get in.
definitely worth it if you ask me!!!

we spent hours here and i already cannot 
wait to return with chase next year.

more to come from SA!!