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AM I EVER COMING HOME! 28TH DECEMBER….LION COUNTRY SAFARI

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Isafari, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    Had a good nights sleep last night and woke up to what turned into a lovely sunny day. :thumbsup: Breakfast is free here at the Hampton Inn but not sure what to expect.
    We wander down to the dining area by the pool with good appetites. What was on offer was okay….I had a breakfast pizza, toast and an apple juice. We took a couple of pieces of fruit with us when we left too....they'll cancel out the breakfast pizza! :lol:

    It was about a 20 minute drive to Lion Country Safari and we got there just after opening at 9.30am. I was looking forward to today. :yes: Back home, we used to have a place called Lampton Lion Safari Park. I went a few times when I was a toddler for a birthday treat. I always asked to go there rather than have a party….I’ve been a big cat freak all those years.

    We drive through the gates and check the rules of the park (pleased we didn’t hire a convertible as they're not allowed for obvious reasons.) You wind your car window down and pay your entrance fee at a small hut while still in the car. You are given a CD to play in the car which describes each area you are driving through and what animals you should be seeing. The CD lets you know when to turn it off until the next gateway.
    Can I just say….if there was someone cleaning your windows just before you drive through the first area, they would make a fortune!:chores008: I don’t know how many times I cursed the dirty windows getting in the way of a good photo.

    Ok, we’re ready to start the drive through section of the safari which is about four and a half miles long. You can actually drive through as many times as you like too which was great. If you want to stop to view the animals, you can do so at any time by just pulling over to the right hand side of the road. You can then take your time with photos.

    Las Pampas was the first drive through area. We see deer, llama, Aldabra tortoise, tapir and birds. We pull over to watch a tapir having a good old time in the lake. He is an excellent swimmer!

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    Heading through a set of open gates, we are in Ruaha National Park. Here, we see a variety of impala and antelope. The Gir Forest section brings more varieties of antelope and buffalo. It’s quite peaceful here and we often pull over to just sit and watch.

    The Gorongosa Reserve is next………my favourite part of the drive through. Lions. Plenty of lions. Of course we pulled over here! It was great to see them running at speed and having the space to play and chase each other. One male put on a show for us and started to roar. He was quickly joined by another three lions. The sound was amazing. I could happily sit here all day.

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    The next gateway takes us onto the Serengeti Plains where we had to stop after only a few feet into the area for not one, but six ostrich to walk in front of the car….all single file. We see waterbuck, wildebeest, eland and elephant. We pull over to watch some elephants drinking and having a snack.

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    The last section of the drive through was the Hwange National Park. After the lions, this was my second favourite area. Before we knew it, there were white rhino right next to the car. We stopped and watched them for quite some time. If it wasn’t for the car window, I could reach out and touch these guys. We just started to move when this guy walked in front of us….he was bigger than us so had the right of way!

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    A baby rhino had been born only 6 days ago....he was adorable but not allowed out on his own yet. You could see him from the car but he was behind a barrier with his Mum until he learned his highway code code. :lol:
    We probably saw at least one hundred zebras. They were quite impressive.

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    Chimps and gibbons were next. We watched as a family of chimps eat together then the baby of the family stole some of Dads stash of food….this caused ructions. :lol:

    I could see the giraffes now and was thrilled when they came close to the car. They were quite inquisitive and I just loved staring into their eyes. Beautiful creatures. There is something so peaceful about giraffes.

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    That was the end of the drive through. We handed in our CD and drove over to the car park. Our tummies were talking to us so we headed over to the café where we shared a chicken mayo sandwich and refillable coke which came to $8.

    We had a wander around the gift shop which had some pretty cool t/shirts and scatter cushions which very nearly tempted me. They were very reasonably priced too.

    Over to the walking safari section of the park next. The warm weather was making us thirsty again already so when we spotted a vending machine we decided on drinks and they had grape Fanta which we’d never tried before. I loved it but I’ve never seen it since. :(

    There were lots of gardens and play areas for the kids here along with fairground attractions and water fountains. There was a petting section which we didn’t go into but we had fun watching some kids feed the goats for 25cents a go.

    We saw monkeys, gators, turtles, birds, and a sloth.

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    We then walked through a section where for 25cents you could feed the Koi. We then spotted a snake in the water …I did take photos but not very good ones!! The snake seemed to be creeping up on a moor hen in the water. Just in time, the moor hen saw the snake and escaped.

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    We came across a giraffe feeding area which was way cool. The crackers were $2.50 for two and the giraffes seemed to love them. You were on a raised platform so that when the giraffes came over, there heads were on level with you. I’m embarrassed to tell you how much we spent on crackers here.

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    This is a lovely park and I wouldn’t hesitate to come back again. We decide to go back to the drive through section and end up going through it twice more which took us up to closing time.

    On the way back to the hotel we spotted a Michael's craft store which we popped into to check if they had an item we had been looking for but, it wasn't to be :( I could have spent a fortune in here!

    Back to the hotel and we freshen up before heading back to Duffy's for our evening meal again. If we thought last night was loud, tonight was deafening! There was a twenty minute wait for a table becasue Miami Dolphins were playing and people weren't moving after their meal was finished. So, DH decided on a beer. I wait by the door and he goes off to the bar. When he comes back with five beers, I raise my eyebrows at him as he doesn't normally drink much at all. Apparently, he had asked the barmaid for a bottle of beer....she couldn't understand his accent and had given him a bucket of beer! He was either too polite or too embarrassed to say anything :lol:
    Tonigth DH had nachos to start and I had the onion soup. The soup was very similar to the onion soup at Le Chefs De France in Epcot. DH had fish and chips and I had chicken Alfredo. We both had soft drinks and the bill was only $42.

    Tomorrow....an aninal rescue sanctuary and a 3 hour airboat tour of the Everglades.
     
  2. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    absolutely brilliant report and photos! Really enjoying them :thumbsup:
     
  3. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    I won't tell you I am having a grape Fanta now. They also sell them at the Hess gas stations at WDW.

    The pics are gorgeous!! Can you give me the info on the place? My mom would absolutely love to feed the giraffes, they are her favorite animal. I would love to go too. I can imagine spending a small fortune :yes:
     
  4. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    Thanks for reading my trippie guys :hug2:

    I loved them Johnie :yes: Hopefully we'll see them in the shops over here in the next couple of years! :lol:
     
  5. lisaw
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    lisaw Serious Forum Regular

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  6. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Yet another great TR Diane, and the photos are fantastic.
    Looking forward to the next one. :thumbsup:
     
  7. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    Thanks guys :hug2:
     
  8. Dorothy
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    Dorothy Smiley Herder

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    I keep forgetting to post to your TRs hun, but I'm loving everyone of them, especially this one :D

    We used to take the kids here everytime we came to Florida when they were growing up and it was always one their favorites!! Now I want to go again :thumbsup:
     
  9. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    So how much did you spend on crackers?
     
  10. Disneybumble
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    Disneybumble The Secret is in the Sauce.

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    Love reading your TR Diane. Your photos are so clear.
     
  11. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    about $30

    Thank you....I've just finished going through all of the photos from our trip :yes:

    Thanks Dorothy :)
     
  12. daveann
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    daveann Addicted to Mickey

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    oh those giraffes are so gorgeous i would be the same paying megga bucks for crackers...........
    reading the trippie makes me want to go there too thanks :)
     
  13. josh.p.
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    josh.p. Addicted to Mickey

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    This TR is seriously :awesome: Those pics.... they are just stunning! WOW.

    Can I be cheeky and ask if you have any pics for me to see of the aldabran tortoises? :p
     
  14. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    Thanks Josh. I think I do but I'm not sure how in focus they are....will check for you and stick them at the bottom of this post if I have any. I do have some photos of a red footed tortoise in my next trippie which I took especially for you :yes:

    Thanks Ann....we have had quite a few encounters with giraffes and there always seems to be a feeling of calmness when they are around.
     

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  15. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    fantastic photos Diane!
     
  16. josh.p.
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    josh.p. Addicted to Mickey

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    Diane they are brilliant! :D:D Thank you!! Can't wait to see the redfoot. I know someone who breeds redfoots. They would thrive in Orlando with the humidity that they need.
     
  17. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    Johnie...the info is all in my animal guide HERE Plus, other places to feed giraffes :yes:
     

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