8. Wrestling with Cubs

This morning, I went with several of the Door of Hope volunteers to the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, a privately owned Gauteng game reserve. It was a very different experience from the one we had at Pilanesberg National Park. We started off with a visit to the Wonder Cave, which is the only active cave in South Africa, meaning that its stalactites and stalagmites are still growing. It's a good thing we went, because as the sign at the park entry told us, "If you don't visit the Wonder Cave, you'll always WONDER..."

Unlike Pilanesberg, the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve does not have any elephants or giraffes, due to its high elevation. In fact, it used to have two giraffes, but when one of them was killed by a lightning strike, they moved the other one to another reserve. However, it does have a Predator Camp, where you can see lions, tigers, and cheetahs (oh my!).

By far the best part of the park was the Animal Crèche, where you can play with the baby lions and tigers. Never in my life did I imagine that I would get to pet a tiger cub or wrestle a lion cub! ASKJEHOIVCOXIQEF!! It was all fun and games, until we had to leave and one of the lion cubs bit the sleeve of my hoodie and sank its claws in and wouldn't let me go. Rut roh.

On our way home, we stopped to eat at Carnivores, the South African equivalent of a Brazilian steakhouse. ZOMG! I got to eat all of the animals we'd seen at the park that day. Well, all of the ones that aren't endangered, anyway. I can't even decide which one was my favorite... it was a four-way tie between the crocodile, zebra, warthog, and kudu. I am the ultimate predator! ROAR!!

No comments: