South Africa - Zulu Nyala

We've finally reached the destination that made us take this trip in the first place - Zulu Nyala. It's a private game reserve, small by South African standards though plenty big for us, atop a hill. Waaaaay too fancy for us, but it was nice to enjoy for a few days.
Panorama view from the restaurant. Gavin ready to go on a game drive. Kathryn showing off her swimming apparel. Kathryn getting swarmed with splashing kids. Enjoying the delicious buffet.
Zoe enjoying the dessert buffet. A close-up of the straw roof.  Kind of amazing that it keeps the water out, but it does. Zoe self-portrait made when she "borrowed" the grown-up camera. Zoe doing her math workbook, making up for the week of school she's missing, while Gavin practices with Zoe's Cat's Cradle Christmas present. Hi!  I'm a zebra!
Awww...look at the fuzzy baby Zebra nursing. Look at the length of the tail on that bird.  No idea how these birds were able to fly. Just a giraffe hanging out.  It's amazing how tall they are when you're close to them. Zooming in.  Somehow their tongues are able to handle the insane acacia tree thorns. A good shot demonstrating what a predator would see while chasing down an impala herd.  It's quite visually confusing isn't it?
img 1149 img 1150 Now these are some serious thorns.  You've got to be one hungry giraffe to munch on this tree. Cape buffalo lounging about.  They don't look dangerous, but we gave them a wide berth. A buffalo calf trying to find some milk.  Not going to be much on mama's back.
img 1159 Are you looking at me? Looking out from the pickup truck we rode in for the game drives.  Sipho, our guide for our whole stay, wearing his cool hat, is making his own road through the bushes. All three of Zulu Nyala's elephants strolling across the road up to the lodge.  The middle one looks like a baby, but is actually 12 years old. img 1179
The reserve's namesake - the nyala.  I'd never heard of these animal before.  They are absolutely beautiful animals or, as Zoe just noted "very pretty!". img 1192 img 1193 Just some nature strolling across the road. img 1198
img 1202 img 1203 Crazy looking tree isn't it?  We called it the Dr. Suess tree. Kathryn doing laundry. Sipho out looking for cheetah.  Ummm.....
Here's the mama cheetah.  She's hungry because she hasn't caught anything for a couple day. And here are the two cheetah cubs waiting for mama to return with some food. They are incredibly beautiful aren't they? Here are the elephants munching away on the trees. img 1251
img 1252 img 1253 Pool time! img 1264 img 1265
Kathryn lounging by the pool. The bug that bit Kathryn. Waiting to eat lunch. Martin looking out over the deck. img 1272
Writing postcards to send back home. Peek-a-boo I see you. A couple male nyala playing. img 1286 img 1296
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This rhino has just come out from a nice soak in the mud. Gavin the fruitarian enjoying lunch. img 1430 Zuly Nyala traffic jam. img 1440
img 1442 Zoe and Gavin crashed out under their mosquito net.  Both of them got bitten many times, as did Kathryn.  Meanwhile Martin, who must not taste as good, wasn't bitten a single time the entire trip. img 1447 img 1449 img 1450
img 1451 img 1452 This is about as much as we ever saw of Zulu Nyala's hippos. Only saw this kudu, and his awesome horns, a copule times. The little baby, which is more than 6' tall, still had a bit of its umbilical cord attached.
img 1468 img 1469 img 1474 Sipho out looking for cheetahs again. img 1486
img 1487 img 1489 img 1490 Gavin very sweetly helping keep Zoe afloat. img 1494
img 1495 Oh yeah, don't forget to get Etana Insurance.  Sheesh...nice photo bombing. Not much of a picture, but there's a backstory.  This hawk flew along a dirt road just ahead of us for about 10 minutes.  He appeared to be hunting. img 1506 Martin went out on a solo game drive with Sipho one morning and came upon this.  The mama cheetah had caught a baby impala and brought it back for her cubs to eat.
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A relaxing grove of yellow fever trees. img 1537 img 1538 img 1540 To infinity and beyond!
img 1542 img 1543 Our last sighting of the cheetahs. img 1551 Yes...those are cheetahs about 50' away from us.  Odds of doing something like this in the US?  0.00%
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img 1592 Wildebeest nursing time. img 1603 img 1611 img 1619
img 1620 img 1623 img 1625 That's one crusty looking cape buffalo. img 1632
Pineapples!  These are the most incredibly sweet pineapples ever, nothing like what find in the US.  This is only about half of the pineapples available at this large fruit market.