Lions and Tigers and Rhinos
April 17, 2006

I landed in Frankfurt on Saturday morning at 10am only to find out that my flight to Jo'burg wasn't until 11pm. This worked out really well, as it gave me a full day to explore. I met Tony on the train to downtown Frankfurt who was in a similar situation and spent the day with him. On Saturdays there is a market in the main squares and so we got to see Frankfurt at its best. After a few glasses of the local apple wine, and steins of beer, we explored the Roemerberg, took a city tour, and poked around in the shops. Amazingly 80% of the city was destroyed in the war and there are only a handful of buildings that survived. I expected Frankfurt to be much bigger, but you can walk across it in 20 minutes. Walking down the streets it sounded like I was playing Wolfenstein.

I arrived in Jo'burg at 10am on Sunday morning to a few clouds, and 30 degree weather, had a quick shower, and then was taken to a Lion and Rhino park by SRK Jo'burg's IT Manager Hamilton, and his wife Pam. The park is a huge plot of land with fences separating the predators from the rest of the animals. There are a number of different roads, and you can drive around the whole thing in a day, which is exactly what we did. To start out the we came across 5 male lions and 3 female lions chowing down on a cow carcass. The park isn't big enough to allow live feedings (the prey doesn't have enough room to escape apparently), so the lions have to resort to eating beef. We were able to park 50 feet from them and watch them eat and then lie around in the sun. We then headed into the Cheetah area, and were extremely lucky, the cheetah had dragged it's meal near the road, and we were able to park within 10 feet of it and watch. Hamilton and Pam said that they've only ever seen a cheetah once before at this park, so it was pretty cool. On our way out for lunch we came across three rhinos, and a number of wildabeasts, buck (kudu, antelope, and a handful of other varieties) and a warthog. To finish off the day the park has a big cage full of baby lions and tigers. There were 4 lions, 3 white lions, and 2 tigers all about twice the size of my cat all play fighting together. We were able to pet them through the fence which was very cool. A monkey was also running around looting the garbage cans, and eating junk food. There was also a 2 week old lion cub (smaller than my cat) that they were feeding with a bottle. In the same area there was also a pair of white tiger cubs, and 4 or 5 lions that were a bit older and bigger. To end the day we saw a couple Hippos, a Jaguar, and three Siberian Tigers in more of a Zoo type area that you could walk around in.

It's been a blur to start the trip, but so far everything is going great! I'll upload pictures whenever I get a chance to charge my laptop. I forgot to bring an adapter for the plugs down here, so I'm slightly gadget crippled at this point..




Comments:

sounds pretty sweet, have fun and bring back plenty of Starbucks receipts for me to post.

Posted by: ewan at April 17, 2006 7:55 AM
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south africa seriously sounds like a disney movie. can you bring some of the creatures back? i always wanted a monkey for a pet.

Posted by: tom at April 17, 2006 6:34 PM
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Hang on a second....there are TWO of us??? Sounds like you're having a good time. Looks like I might even have a job by the time you get back too :)

Posted by: Hamilton at April 18, 2006 10:31 AM
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hello
This is Tony, we met in frankfurt, it was a beautiful day, got to see the city within a day surprisingly, i thought it would be much bigger like jeff said. i guess the beer made it shorter, jeff i wonder if you have the pics posted soon so i show them to my kids.thank you
tony

Posted by: tony at April 19, 2006 2:58 AM
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