Marina on the Kariega Queen river cruise

We flew to Port Elizabeth to check out the South African bush. Marina enjoys an early morning river cruise on the Kariega Queen down the Kariega River, an estuary of the Indian Ocean.
The scenic view from the Kariega River

The amazing view, peaceful morning—Marina even got a chance to steer the riverboat!
Security guard Jonathan gets close to a giraffe

Once we arrive at the Game Reserve, it doesn't take long before we are up close and personal with a giraffe!
Andie the Rhino

On our dusk game drive, we met the Kariega rhinos. One rhino, Andie, made quite an impact on Carri! She even wrote a poem about her!
Shamwari Game Reserve

We were then off to the Shamwari Game Reserve to see the Big Five: Lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and rhinos.
Marina Carri Tiffany open land rover vehicle experience beauty Shamwari reserve

Marina, Carri and Tiffany head off in their open land rover vehicle to experience the beauty of the Shamwari reserve.
Shamwari Zebra

We drive past a herd of zebras grazing. The zebra's black and white stripes provide a form of camouflage known as disruptive coloration. The stripes may also serve as social signals; each individual's stripe pattern is unique—similar to human fingerprint patterns.
Elephant at the Shamwari Game Reserve

We were lucky enough to find a herd of elephants. This elephant was not happy that we were blocking the route he wanted to take!
Book Club travelers at the Shamwari Game Reserve

Our Book Club travelers take a moment to stretch their legs and soak in their surroundings. Just being here is a very exclusive experience—only 25 visitors are allowed per day!
Marina ventures into the Indian Ocean.

We were surprised to catch two lions mating! After coitus, the lioness rolls onto her back and lies with her legs in the air to ensure conception. Shamwari works with Born Free, an organization to protect animals. Several of the lions at Shamwari were rescued by the Born Free's Big Cat Project.
Marina, Tiffany and Carri toast to the trip of a lifetime!

The group stops at a panoramic spot for a refreshing "sundowner" and snacks, and to discuss the day's sightings.
The African sky at dusk

The African sky at dusk. A breathtaking sunset for an unforgettable day.

Now it's time to get ready for Day Ten—and The World AIDS Concert.