Since I am currently stressing about our housing situation, I figured maybe I could channel some of that energy into writing up our first family outing.
The Lion Park:
The Lion Park, located in Johannesburg, is slightly less than an hour from where we are staying and we decided it was time to get out and explore (http://www.lion-park.com/).
The park gives you the option to pay for a safari tour or self drive (we did the self drive). The drive takes a minimum of 30 minutes. You begin the tour by driving through the game animal section. This section is where you can see giraffes, zebras, and impalas prior to heading into the lion area. Before entering the lion area, you are handed a slip of paper that reminds you that lions are dangerous and it is probably best to keep your windows rolled up at all times. The funny part about this is that workers are just standing in the lion area with no protection at all! Maybe their bravery encouraged others to roll down their windows, because many cars did have their windows down! Of course, we did not want to risk being lunch, and kept ours up.
The lions are separated into prides by fencing. There were 5 different prides at the park plus an area to see cheetahs and wild dogs. The only worker under protection was in the cheetah area, and I don’t blame him considering how fast they are!
Here are some pictures of our experience:
After the safari part we had lunch at the outdoor cafe and play area.
I found some more tires (see post: https://patienceinajar.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/tires-and-the-farm-inn/)
After lunch we headed over to the lion cub interactive experience. In this area we were able to touch and feed a baby giraffe, and see some leopards, ostriches, and meerkats up close while waiting to go into the lion cub cage. Once in the cage, the instructor told us that it was the first time these particular cubs have been used in the interactive experience. They were very sleepy and young. The instructor told us that we were to pet the cubs firmly so they did not think we were flies and swat at us. It was an amazing experience!
We have been in Pretoria for 2.5 weeks now. Socially we are having a really great time. We’ve met wonderful people and have done amazing things. Our only negative issue whatsoever is housing. I feel like we are still at square one. Once we found out our first house fell through, I immediately began looking for housing again. I went out 2 days in a row. The first day I went out with Kathryn and saw 2 potential contenders for houses, neither of which I loved, but would have agreed to simply to get out of this room. The second day I saw 4 houses I liked much better and put offers in on 3 of them. The agent seemed confident that I could probably get one of them but after losing one house already I can’t help but remain skeptical. Anyone that knows me in person knows that I am no good at the waiting game. I get really grumpy and impatient. I realize the anxiety that stirs up inside of me is of no benefit whatsoever….. but I have a tough time shaking it until things are finalized and in place. Where is that jar of patience when I need it? 🙂
Anyways, I put the offers in on Friday afternoon and he hoped to hear something by Monday. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for good news!