Sunday, February 1, 2009

I ain't Lion!

This was one of the coolest experiences I've had! I've never ever been this close to wild animals not at a zoo! Saturday morning we got up early and drove an hour to this Rhino & Lion game reserve. We had heard it was the coolest around. It definitely was! It was out in the middle of nowhere, we really felt like we were in the wild. We just drove around on our mini-safari searching for animals. (Picture overload...and I deleted like 10 of them too!)

We saw so many animals! It was so exciting to both be on the lookout and freak out when we saw one. It was so cool to drive up to them and be practically the only ones in the area because it was so big.
I love this picture (above). I had SO much fun with my camera, I'm so glad I brought it. I've never done nature/animals and this made me SO excited to get into it.
When we got to Cape Town, we're going to this place where we can ride the ostrich!

These lions were laying in the middle of the road, there were 4 of them. So we drove slowly and this one stayed RIGHT by the window! Ben rolled down his window to get a few shots. It was hilarious because when he had the camera up to his face he'd lean in close to her...
...and then when he took the camera away he freaked out because of how close he was! He could've grabbed Nala's teeth!

We found the cheetahs at feeding time. A big truck with a dead gazelle or something came by and waited for them all to come. There were 4 of them too and they were mean and hungry! They kept fighting and barking and hissing.
The man finally started the truck and as he drove off he would throw chunks of the animal out and each cheetah would claim his and run off to feast on his own. Quite amazing!

Then we went to these White Lions--aren't the beautiful!!? I don't think I've ever seen WHITE lions like these. Only the Mufasa and Simba kind. They were in dinner time and were tearing apart an animal too.

We saw a huge Rhino, muddy zebras, lots of ostrich and wart hogs, Sable Antelope, Gazelle, and Impala.

Then we went to hold and play with the baby tigers and lions! This mommy lion was hungry and when I went up to the fence she came right at got my heart racing but I got a sweet picture out of it!

3 month old Tigers. They were SOOOOOO cute! Look at them!



These are the 6 month old lions. They were tired, ornery and lazy:) But I woke one up anyway and played with him. They are at the age that they could tear us apart if they wanted. Good thing they don't want to!


These little guys are 8 weeks old. They were so cute. They weren't all that happy about being held, but they had the cutest little growl we just kept buggin' them:)



Needless to say, it was a blast. We were there for like...6 hours! It was so much fun. And they told us they need volunteers with the baby lions and tigers on the weekends and we totally want to do it! It's only a couple times a month but you get to feed and play with these guys all day! How cool is that?!

We've been to church 2 times (Ben 3 times) and have loved it! The wards are really big. Last week we went to a different ward with a guy my uncle knows down here, this week we went by ourselves to one that they told us we are in...but when we got there they said we're in yet a different ward. So next week we're going to our right ward! But it's been great. The people are so nice and welcoming. There are lots and lots of white South Africans, and about 1/4th are black. Today was testimony meeting and it was unlike any ward we've been to. As soon as the bishop BEFORE the bishop was even done, there were 6 people up and on their way and it was like that the whole time. It was quite amazing and quite an example. They were so eager to share their testimonies. We were also blown away by their knowledge. Today we were the only whites in Sunday School and I swear they knew the scriptures and stories a million times better than I did. It was awesome. They told us we're in the actual Johannesburg ward, it's in a really sketchy area and it's an all-black ward. They said to try it out but to not feel bad if we don't feel safe or comfortable going down there. I told Ben I say we do it! It'd be awesome! So we'll let ya know what we decide!

We joined a dance class and it starts tomorrow night! I can't wait! It's a ballroom/latin class every Monday night. We're excited. Ben's already a this will be easy. I'm also taking a couple of photography classes. A basic "Fundamentals" one and an "Outdoor/Nature Photography" one. I've never done one so I'm SOOOO excited!

I'm still looking for a job. I'm working on some paperwork to get registered with the South African Council for Educators so I can possibly teach. I'm looking at working at a nice gym or something too. We'll see. Ben's loving his job! His hours are about the same as before. 12 hour days. He leaves at 8am and comes home at 8pm. It kinda stinks...but I don't think it will get any worse than that, so that's good.

Well that's the update on us goofballs! Ben's birthday is on Tuesday and I can't wait! I'm hoping he can get done around 3 so we can celebrate properly. He's getting old! 25! :)

We love you and all thanks for your support! It's a quite an adjustment, but thanks for all the emails! They keep me smiling and busy and it's great to know what's happenin' back in the USA! Keep 'em comin and we'll keep the blog rolling!


hailee said...

sounds like you guys are having alot of fun and adventures!!! I LOVE YOUR PICTURES THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!!

Corinne said...

So cool! I am going to show Ben Thomas. I think he will love the pictures!

Jill Revell said...

Those pictures are are already an awesome photographer. My favorites are when you are each holding a cub. What an amazing, unforgetable experience.

The Hills... said...

Holy Freaking Cow....that is ah-mazing Camille! What wonderful pictures, you could sell those!

Chelsie said...

oh my heck, what an amazing adventure! and as always your pictures are amazing! i can't believe how close you were to all of them and that you got to play with the little cute!! so i have something that you could do to occupy your time...since you're already teaching photography classes...i think you should teach some photography classes via internet too! ha maybe that's selfish of me though cause i'm just wanting to learn and you're so talented. :-) happy birthday to ben!!

Mariah said...

Ok, I am sooo jealous of you guys!! I have always wanted to play with baby lions and tigers. That is sooo cool!!! I love the pics too! I hope that you guys go back there and volunteer cause that would be the coolest. I'm glad that you have already found fun things to do! Doug and I are taking a dance class too!! It's not going that well though... lol. Hopefully you guys enjoy dancing together more than we do... lol. I'm sorry about Ben's hours. :( Happy birthday to Ben! Doug just turned 26 - can you believe that?!?

Unknown said...

That is amazing! Great photos too. Those baby tigers are too cute! i want one... someone should breed tea cup tigers :) Thanks for sharing these.

Jamie said...

Camille your pictures are so amazing! I am super jealous I would love to go and do the things you are doing! Those baby tigers are so adorable and just every thing sounds so great! That is really neat about the testimony meeting! Sounds like a wonderful place! Keep posting all they fun stuff I love it! I really want to go there now!! :)

Lauren Tatton said...

How fun! I love your adventure! What a great place to live!

Unknown said...

OH my gosh Camille! You are the luckiest girl ever. That would be THE coolest thing ever. I can't believe how close you were to those animals... and the cute little cubs that you got to hold and play with. You are having all these amazing experiences that most people will never have. GREAT pictures too!

Good luck on finding a job. That is so fun you are taking a dancing & photography class. Keep me posted on how is goes. I am going to a IPPA seminar in a couple days that I wish you could go to so we could meet :)

hilary said...

that has got to be the coolest experience ever!! those pictures were so amazingly close! crazy! i'm just a little jealous! :) also jealous that you are taking a dance class! i don't think my hubby would ever do that. church sounded awesome! good luck with job hunting, i'm sure whatever you find will be fun and interesting. keep the posts coming! i always look forward to your posts because you guys have such exciting lives! :)

Unknown said...

Can I just say, now THIS is on my list of things to do before I die :)

Tawnya said...

Those are the coolest pictures I have ever seen!!!!!!!!

Kat said...

I love the white lions. I've never seen them before either. What an amazing experience! You can tell people that you have held a lion!?! Very cool pic of the tiger too!

reagan: said...

Okay, totally jealous again. I know I have like totally stalked your pictures on FB and blog! I have wanted to work for the discovery channel since I was a tot, and that is MY DREAM right there! That is just so cool, I cannot even tell you how cool!

Sarah said...

Wow those pics are AMAZING. What a cool experience. Did you sneak one home with you? I would've.

Sarah said...


Kelsi said...

That looks like soooo much fun! Those pictures are to die for too! I love the tiger ones. I bet that was such a neat experience! It sounds like you two are just living it up out there!

Brock and Arrienne said...

Wow! That is so amazing! I loved looking at the awesome pictures you took. The animals were all so pretty. That sure is a once in a lifetime experience. I'm glad you are having so much fun!

Lindsay said...

Wow, I found your blog from Lauren's and how cool is it that you live in Africa! What an adventure! I love all your pictures with all of the animals! That is so exciting! Going to Africa is definately on my to-do list! Have lots of fun!