Monday, January 26, 2015

south africa's rhino & lion nature reserve

... the rhino & lion nature reserve ...
this place is a must-see in south africa.
i think this was my favorite day of the 
trip in terms of animal interaction.
between two different safaris and
a drive through kruger, we saw a lot
of animals this trip -- but nothing
was better than interacting with them
at this nature reserve! best day ever.

we drove into the reserve and went straight to the
animal crèche {cradle} with baby lions and tigers!
i was so excited i couldn't even stand it. seeing the
little guys made me giddy! it is amazing. you can 
choose which ones to pay and go in to pet and play
with, so we chose the one with a baby lion and tiger.
^^ here kitty kitty!
how cute can he be? ^^ look at those eyes.
^^ pure happiness
HIS PAWS!!! ^^ he is going to be huge one day.

i clearly could not contain my excitement ^^

after lots of playing we checked out the pretty
cheetah and other animals in the crèche...
then we drove out into the reserve hoping to see
some animals...and came upon the best thing ever.
is this real life?! these lions were BY FAR my 
favorite animal sighting in south africa. by far.
^^ this one passed in front of our car countless
times, protecting his pack. we rolled up the windows
as he walked by because he was SO CLOSE TO US!

we could not believe mufasa and his pals were
RIGHT outside our window in our own car.
we were screaming of excitement and a little fright!!
^^ lioness showing off for the camera
i think this is my favorite picture i took on the trip...
pretty amazing to see the female lioness right in
front of us and the male lion in the rearview mirror!
objects in mirror are definitely closer than they appear :)
^^ blue blue african skies
oh hiii! ^^

most beautiful animal ^^ 
it is unbelievable how huge they are.
^^  we loved seeing him licking and cleaning her!
then they were bored with us and 
snoozing by the time we left. love them!!
^^ spotted another snoozing hippo as we drove on..
^^ along with these pretty ostriches,
^^ and a cheetah + the coolest long-tailed bird 
we ended our day by making new 
giraffe friends at the neck deck :)
^^ giraffe selfie, ha!
i took ten million pictures of them. cutest animal!

i think this one wanted to kiss my mom for rubbing its neck!

^^^ do you think i was excited? :)

the best part about this reserve is that it's right
by an amazing bike loop and the cradle of humankind.
it was so fun to bike this loop with my mom & dad
and do breakfast along with visiting the reserve!
a pretty unbeatable day in my book...
now i just need to bring chase back here!!
daddy-daughter bike ride. he is the best {and most fit} dad.
loveliest brunch after biking ^^

the rhino & lion reserve has a 140 rand 
entrance fee, which is about $12 USD to get in.
definitely worth it if you ask me!!!

we spent hours here and i already cannot 
wait to return with chase next year.

more to come from SA!! 


  1. Oh my, what beautiful pictures. It looks like you had an amazing time - I can't imagine how surreal it must've been being that close and personal with the Lions and Tigers, truly amazing. I'm loving reading all about your safari trip, it's giving me serious wanderlust though! xx


  2. Just WOW! Amazing place, the little puppies def stole my heart <3

  3. these pictures are AMAZING! i cannot believe you got to play with tigers & lions & giraffes & got to feed them & pet them. oh my gosh this is a dream. & the bike ride sounds soo cool! ah i want to go back & do this exact thing haha. also, i looove your top, where did you find it?! so glad you had an awesome trip :)

    1. haha right?! i really was in heaven. you have to go here one day!!!

      the top is from lululemon, i got a sunburn from biking and it is in the crazy pattern on my back now haha! xx

  4. absolutely incredible!!! a dream come true!!!

    1. haha my exact words! i told my mom my life is now complete!!!

  5. Wow that's amazing!! I can't believe how close you were able to get to the animals. Looks like you're having an amazing time on your trip + with your fam!

    1. ahh yes it was crazy to be so close, but being there you can sense the calmness and it's not scary at all!!

  6. These photos are so beautiful! I am unbelievably jealous of your trip and this has made South Africa shoot right up to the top of my travel bucket list! Amazing! Already excited to read the posts when you and Chase go back!

    1. i am so glad, because it should be at the top :) it blew me away and exceeded all expectations! :) your comments always make my day steph!

  7. that looks so fun! that collage of the lion yawning is hilarious!!

    xo, kiely @ pocket of blossoms

  8. i am DYING over these pictures emi!! south africa is my hubby's #1 on his travel list. i've been sharing all your posts with him and he's dying too! :) so so amazing.

  9. Your trip looks incredible!!!! So jealous you got to play with those little babies! Definitely giving me the travel bug right now. Good thing we are going to the Philippines in 3 months (so far away still)

    1. philippines how fun!! can't wait to hear about that. just for fun? where will you be going?

  10. Amazing photos! Those lions look so peaceful!

  11. These pictures are breath-taking!!! I can't imagine being so close to those gorgeous animals! Also, I just went to the zoo with my guy and we were talking about how The Lion King and Finding Nemo totally changed the way people our age experience the zoo and the aquarium! I love that you called him Mufasa because we call all the animals by those names, too!

    1. haha yes! those movies give animals personalities!! now i need to watch lion king again :)

  12. EM!!! First of all you are beautiful! I love these pictures so much. What a fun experience. I love that you got to see your darling parents. love you best friend!

    1. i love you! let's talk this week!!

  13. I loved our day here. You did such a great post. I love the lion pics the most!

    1. you took the best ones of the lioness!!!

  14. The most AMAZING pictures! I really need to go there and spend some time on the "neck deck" I am obsessed!


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