Saturday morning started the animal portion of our trip. We journeyed from Cape Town to the “Hippo” Lodge.” This journey included a flight and a bus ride. We were all anticipating what animals we would see. After arriving at the lodge we were seated for a large buffet lunch and then greeted by monkeys, We were then instructed to move into our rooms and get ready for the afternoon/evening game drive. We were split into two groups with the drivers “Niles” (Robert) and Trevor. We saw lions grazing, giraffes being tall, and Wildebeest being brainless. All of the girls have interesting stories and learned something about the “circle of life.” The hotel we stayed in was extremely nice and treated us exceptionally well. Dinner was in the middle of the Bush and there were jackals all around. We even did our dance in the middle of the dinner. We got a few claps and a few laughs. The morning Game Drive was difficult to wake up for but was worth it! The highlight of the morning was watching the lion cary its kill from the day before across the field and seeing the elephants eating from trees. Watching the elephants got us really excited for afternoon portion of our day. After leaving the lodge we headed to the Elephant Sanctuary. At the Elephant Sanctuary we had lunch while observing the elephants playing together. After lunch we had many elephant encounters. Starting with feeling the different parts of elephants. I personally really liked the ears because of how soft they are. Ximena liked the trunk. Some girls also received sloppy kisses from the elephants. Next we fed a large elephant by hand and took lots of pictures. then our guide gave us an anatomy lesson while the teenage elephant distracted him. Check out some of the pictures at the bottom of the blog. After that we learned how to walk an elephant. Some girls felt like the elephants were walking them others walked elephants like they were walking a dog. We then took a break and chatted about the experience waiting to find out if we were able to ride the elephants. When we found out that we were able to all of the girls got on the elephants with a smile. Even Ms. Fulton and Ms. Hall rode the elephants! The elephant encounter was a great end to the trip and no one is looking forward to the flight home!