Monday, June 21, 2010

LION PARK VISIT

GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!!!
MAXMOM here...
Hello there dear friends!
It is a hype of SOCCER WORLD CUP FEVER here in South Africa at the moment!
 I just had to start off this blogpost toay by showing you this fantastic dog which we saw at Montecasino on Saturday evening.  I didn't get his name, but he was representing BRAZIL (soccer ball and jacket) and with the help of his trainer was showing the passers-by all his tricks. He really was quite amazing! So focussed and so beautiful!...
He even had his own vuvuzela!
So agile with his soccer ball!
Thank you, "Brazilian doggie" for your amazing pawformance!
You truly are a wonderful ambassador!!!
All the excitement in our country has had me totally wrapped up in  all the happenings.  It is impossible not to be drawn along with the hype and I find myself glued to the television.
Yesterday's Game between New Zealand and Italy was rivetting and I must congratulate New Zealand on their exceptional perfomance!!! My friend "RILEY" must be absolutely delighted.
(They drew the game against the previous world champions!)
USA are also doing exceptionally well and their flag is being flown high too!
 (I know that TESSA THE MALTESE is doing a wonderful job of flying her USA flag high!)

Last night's performance by Brasil was quite amazing and the Brazilians are being widely tipped to win this tournament. The boys in our household went to see the game last night and said it was electric!!!

Tomorrow SOUTH AFRICA will come to a standstill again for "Football Tuesday". It will most probably be our last game in the Soccer World Cup (unless we perform a miracle against France) but the nation is once again going to show its enthusiasm for our team, for our country and for our visitors who are gracing our shores.

GOOD LUCK BAFANA BAFANA!!!

---xXx---

On Saturday we had another form of excitement...

We have had Adam (our old exchange student from Sweden) and his brother staying with us for the past 5 days. Besides going to see one of the games, we have also also donned our "TOUR GUIDE" hats and ferried them around our city.
On Saturday we thought we'd take them to visit our LION PARK, a popular tourist attraction about 15 minutes from our house. The place is swarming with tourists at the moment...I suppose this is totally expected because if you come to South Africa you just have to get to see a lion!

Well we didn't just show them "one" lion, but plenty...
The various prides of lion are looking beautiful and healthy!
This big male was surrounded by his harem of females and larger cubs.


Tourists are advised not to get our of their cars....NOR to roll down their windows...it seems that such advice is not heeded (see above)
In this particular enclosure a courtship ritual was taking place.
After the 'car' trip, we stopped by the main reception area where one can see a variety of animals and buy various artifacts...

A whole range of African soft toys are on sale.
The main attraction however was..... 

Look at those paws!!!
These cubs are all less than 4 months old and their paws are larger than a human hand. At this stage their claws can already be dangerous alhough they have been around humans since birth...at this stage they aren't life threatening! (simply large kittens!...although that will soon change!)
The cubs are quite capable of delivering a good 'scratch', so people still have to be careful. Each group (of about 10 people) are allowed to be in their enclosures for a maximum of 3 minutes  to pat them or take photographs.
Their fur is not as soft as one would expect...indeed the fur is quite rough.
(Adam and the cubs)
Check out the 'white' lion cub amongst the cubs in the next picture...
(In the wild, the 'white' lion doesn't survive...it is thrown out of the pride because it can't camoflage itself during a hunt!)
There are also giraffe which tourists can feed and pat...
All in all, we had a wonderful outing!

I say 'Good-bye' to Adam and his brother 'Chris' today as they fly back to Sweden. 
Off to the airport now....
Sending lots of love to all my friends and wishing you a wonderful week. 

29 comments:

Bouncing Bertie said...

Well MaxMom I'm not totally happy about you posting photos of animals that might be even cuter than me, but Gail seems to like those lion cub pictures.
I notice that, in your focus on the positive, you have sensibly drawn a veil of silence over England's World Cup performances so far....
Toodle pip!
Bertie.
PS Can I have a vuvuzela too Gail? And maybe a Brazil shirt....

Doris Sturm said...

I must say that I'm so glad I found you blog because our posts are so interesting and entertaining...and I always seem to learn something new. I didn't know about the white lion. That's sad, but that's nature.
Whate a great place to visit. You're giving me Africa fever. When I was young I always thought it would be a great adventure to go on an African safari, but now I'm living vicariously through other people's lives - and their blogs. Thanks so much for sharing your life in Africa with us. I really enjoy it!
Love,
Doris and Gizzy in little ole Georgia, USA :-)

Doris Sturm said...

p.s. I meant to comment on that talented "soccer" dog from Brazil. I love watching dog performances. I have noticed that those type of dogs (it looks like an Australian Shepherd to me) are extremely agile and talented...it would have been an awesome thing to behold, I'm sure!

Angus said...

That visit to the lions was quite spellbinding. The next time we're in Jo'burg we'll be there to stroke the cubs.

The European teams are doing badly on the pitch but are providing excellent entertainment off it. The French team don't seem to be joining in the spirit of 'Unity in Diversity'. Maybe they read it as 'Unity in Mutiny'.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

It's hard to not get caught up on some level in the World Cup! Its been such fun to hear the results and see the snippets on the news and I think of you just about each time and wonder if you're there and enjoying the game! Now I know you're spending time with little lion cubs--How cute and precious they are!! But unlike Goldens, I know it doesn't last! :-))

Ms. ~K said...

You got to pet a lion cub??? How amazing!
I know you will miss your visitors from Sweden.
Go Bafana, Bafana!
Hugs,
~K

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Yuu-Chan and Bibi-Chan said...

Wonderful lion pictures!

And the World Cup is becoming quite exciting! Given the disarray in the French , anything could happen!

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! How lucky that you get to pet the cubs. That's so cool. We've seen lots of Dogs playing with soccer ball due to the World Cup. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

houndstooth said...

Wow! You just have so much cool stuff to share today! I love that dog! It looks like being tour guides was really a fun experience, too.

Heather and Ellie said...

What a smart dog! He does look like he's really happy to show off his tricks.

I just LOVE the lion pictures! Lions are gorgeous--dangerous beauty. And the cubs are irresistible! I am surprised to hear their fur is rough, I certainly wouldn't expect it to be! It looks quite soft.

Jake of Florida said...

We missed you and were hoping you were enjoying these special days in your country! Looks like you were -- and still are.

Looking at the lion cubs being petted, we were wondering whether those who are petted then lose their fear of humans???

And we are hoping that the French mutiny and attitude will give the South Africa team more of a chance. Paws crossed!!!

Wire love,

Still your canine bafana bafana!!!

Maggie Mae said...

Oh Maxmom,

My mom is so jealous because she luvs the wild cats of Afica and you gets to see these amazing and beautiful creatures in person AND pets a baby kitty cub. She really hopes that someday she can visit your beautiful country...it's on her bucket list!

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

brooke said...

I must say that USA should have won their last game! Bad calls by the ref!
Anyway. LOVE these pictures! Lion cubs and giraffes! I love giraffes! Maybe that's why we have Darwin... long legs like a giraffe. hehe

Jacqueline said...

A fun post...Good luck this evening to South Africa, hope they can stay in the games...Love the Lion Park visit and the wonderful photos of those majestic beasts; the cubs are just adorable and how cool you guys could pet them...Happy, safe week Caryl...Kisses to your babies.

Mrs. JP said...

Wow, thanks for the soccer updates. I hope that South Africa wins their match!! BAFANA BAFANA

The Life of Riley said...

You are right that we're delighted New Zealand had a 1-1 draw with Italy (a team ranked seventy-three places above us). Our "underdogs" did so well just to get into the World Cup, so thier first two games (both draws) have left our country so proud of their totally unexpected achievements!

I loved your lion cub photos.

♥Mimi♥ said...

Right now I am standing on my front porch hoping that a package arrives from South Africa. I am sure that Caryl is going to send me one of those cubs and maybe a giraffe. Well, aren't you?

Cloud the Wonder Dog said...

My mom went SQUEEEE when she saw the baby lion pictures. That is so wonderful you got to go in and pet them. Dad lion is very beautiful, as are his lady friends.

Luv,
Cloud

PS. Spain won today!!! :-)

Ginger Jasper said...

What a fabulous post.. The dog is amazing and wow you got to pet those adorable lion cubs.. Magical.. Hugs GJ xx

sprinkles said...

I really love your whole "Unity in Diversity" idea so I used your blog as my Blog of the Week last week! Hope you don't mind! Your excitement about the games is so infectious!

Those lions are amazing! I've only ever seen them at the zoo and am a little jealous that you got to pet a cub! Ok, a lot jealous! I was surprised to learn their fur is rough, it looks so soft.

caboval said...

Oh Joey thinks he is a LION!!! Its so funny and he carries his lion cub around!!! That just amazes me that you got to pet a baby lion!!! What an experience!!! Wow!!! Hugs Joey and Kealani

Sue said...

The Brazilian dog was amazing. Just wait till the 25th when my Portuguese team will demonstrate a soccer game for everyone who didn't get to see one.

That was quite a number of lions to see all at once. Your student must have been pleased.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Those lions are awsome. Tell me something,,, if you found an orphan lion cub- what would you do?
Would you take it home?
My mommy thinks she would like to go snuggle with the lion. She is a silly mom
That Brazilain dog is so smart!
And yes- we think of you every time we hear on the news about the World Cup
love
tweedles

Maureen said...

I know Lion Park! My husband is from South Africa; Dinwiddie to be exact. It's actually where we met.

It's been many years since we visited Lion Park but I'm willing to bet some of those adults were just cubs when we were there. Looking at your photos always make me a bit home sick for my 'other' home. Sigh.

Kari said...

Squeee! Baby lion cubs! And you can pet them! It's been mum 's lifelong wish. You are blessed. We have never been football fans but because of your blog, we'be got World Cup fever! Mum has decorated the patio and made a hat to wear.
And the sweet doggie Brazil fan! He looks like he is enjoying his game. Amid the stars from every county,this darling boy will be one of the crowd's happy memories. South Africa, here we come!

Kari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the booker man said...

those lion cubs are precious, and the soccer playing dog was amazing! congrats on south africa's victory over france!!

the booker man and asa's mama

Asta said...

Maxmom
What a magical time youw students must be having..you awe so lucky to be able to be among such magnificent animals well I mean almost as magnificent as youw own fuwwy family.
I am so sowwy that Bafana Bafana can't go on, They played theiw heawts out and can be vewy woud of theiw playing and alos of theiw spowtsmanship, Bavo BafanaBafana!!!!! Hold youw head high!
smoochie kisses
ASTA and Mommi

♥I am Holly♥ said...

So many beautiful pictures!! Thanks for sharing them! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly