There’s one important rule to remember in the bush: never miss a morning game drive!
Morning in the bush is the time of day when everything comes to life. All the birds are calling their dawn chorus; the leopards are active and patrolling their territories; lions are hunting in the soft light of dawn; and the wilderness is opening up to the promise of a new day. Quite simply: Everything is in a better, happier mood.
When that alarm call comes at 4.30 am, you might not be in the best mood to begin. And you may even consider giving the morning drive a miss, but that would be a mistake. Aside from all the beauty and wildlife you will be missing, there is one more experience that will surely make it worthwhile: bush breakfast!
A few hours of game drive excitement in the bush is guaranteed to work up an appetite, and there’s simply nothing better than trundling in the vehicle, rounding a corner and seeing a bush breakfast neatly set up in the river bed waiting for you. Pans of fire-cooked eggs; bacon, tomato, toast and mushrooms are laid out over open coals, and the smell of hot breakfast gets those juices flowing before you even leave the vehicle.
Fresh coffee is served at a long banquet table, and once all the guests from the lodge have arrived at the river bed, it’s time to sit down, relax and catch up on all the stories from the morning. There’s always excitement as guests compare who saw what on game drive. Did you catch that leopard before he disappeared into the bush? Did you hear the lions roaring? It’s a wonderful thing to realise it’s only 9am and you have a full three hours of experiences behind you.
Bush-breakfasts are not without their animal encounters too! Some animals might come down to the river bed and join you for a spot of breakfast. One morning, just as guests were about to sit down at the table, a breeding herd of elephants decided to walk through the site and feed on the trees beside the breakfast table. All the guests hopped back on the vehicles and quietly watched the elephants move through the area. Once the jumbos had gone, the guests simply continued with their breakfast. Such is morning in the bush!
When you are done with your scrumptious meal, it’s back on the vehicle for the rest of the morning drive, refuelled and ready to go for the day.
It’s not easy to get up at 4.30 am in the morning; but out in the Manyeleti wilderness there’s simply no other way. After all, you don’t want to miss breakfast with elephants.