The sky was dark when our group arrived at the airport. Within the hour, the sun was waking up, rising to a new day. The plane departed, leveled off, and WOW! Mother Nature put on a spectacular show for me. The sunrise reflected on the plane’s wing, colored the horizon pink. and illuminated the scenery below! All of a sudden, I didn’t mind the predawn departure.

We were landing at Hoedspruit (Eastgate) Airport, which is situated in one of South Africa’s air-force bases. It was also earmarked for the landing of the NASA Shuttle in the 1980’s. Hoedspruit borders the northern boundary of the reserve. We were to fly in and transfer in an open Landrover to the luxury Kapama River Lodge. They do have an interesting problem though. There are often animals on the runway.

The flight was quick and we started to descend. I looked down and saw a Baboon just a few feet away watching us taxi in!! I remember thinking, I’m not even in the Game Reserve yet!!

So, we landed and got in 2 Landrovers and our group crossed the road. Kapama was right there! The Kapama Gates opened and closed as we entered. All I could think of was Jurassic Park when they passed through the gate!

The road was dirt and we were in bush country leaving civilization behind! Our driver Cam gave a running itinerary of the flora, fauna, surroundings, and wildlife.

As we drove to the lodge, we saw a herd of elephants crossing the road.

It was amazing to see these beautiful animals so close. We saw giraffes, warthogs, and deer. We stopped suddenly and I looked ahead to see two rhinos just meandering along slowly crossing the road. What a ride!! We weren’t even at the lodge yet!

The sun was setting, so we had to move on. I snapped a shot of the red African sun. I snapped another and saw that the rhino had sneaked into my photo!

However, it was time to move on. The Landrover sped our group to the lodge where we would get ready for a night game drive, an outside 5 star dinner, and three more days of Kapama! I couldn’t wait!