Leopards + Lions @ Mala Mala!

Welcome, Million Mile Secrets readers! Daraius’ blog was one of the first ones I read and his ideas have helped me immensely! Take a look around and please enter my drawing as noted below.


Dear Readers, Miles Traveling Teacher is ONE YEAR OLD this month! It’s gone by so fast and I can’t believe how much I enjoy writing my blog! To celebrate, I’m giving away one $25 Visa gift card and two United Club passes (expiration 2-28-15). To win, please subscribe to my blog (only one email per week!) and enter a comment about YOUR dream destination! If you can’t use the United passes, just say “NO UA” in your comment, and you will only be entered in the Visa drawing. I will select two winners, one for the gift card and one for the two passes on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 9:00 PM Central time. So don’t delay, enter today!  (:

(This is the last of a trip report to Africa, flying United Global Business/First, costing $87 and 120,000 miles which were Ultimate Reward points from my Chase Ink card, transferred to United.)

Lions are truly the king of the bush and we saw lots of them in Mala Mala, South Africa. This was on the sandy river bank just before sunset.



Lions sleep 17-20 hours per day, and following is a progression of that. (Note, different lions, different days, but you get the idea)!











One afternoon, we followed a leopard most of the day. After the other vehicles left, we just sat by the riverbank and watched him, and that is when I fell in love with leopards!


This male leopard is eight years old and lost his eye in a fight. He’s the father of the twin babies from a previous post. He literally came within touching distance of our jeep – I could reach out and touch him (but I didn’t)!


He is one of a set of twins and was raised (abducted) by his grandmother. One thing I loved about Mala Mala is that the guides know all about the animals on their property!


Note the print at the bottom of the foot. Our soap at Mala Mala had a leopard print on it ~ great attention to detail, since they are known for their leopard sightings!








Our very last morning, we saw lions feeding on a “kill,” a baby giraffe. They’d killed it the night before and they eat a few hours, then sleep. When lions kill, the process of dying can take awhile, whereas the leopard is a quick kill. (I’m not sure I could have handled watching a kill). Caution, some photos are graphic, but this is mother nature at work.












We were VERY close and could hear them chomping, chewing, grunting, and growling as they ate. At one point, some of them stood and started fighting/growling loudly, and I literally jumped out of my seat and grabbed Joe, our guide. His response, “Just some family squabbles.”




A few years ago I thought only rich people could go on a safari, but I’m glad my travels have shown me that many experiences are affordable to us all! Our Africa trip was arranged with Fish Eagle Safaris; Bert Duplessis is the owner of the company. Bert is from South Africa and has been in business for 30+ years. What I really like about his service is he will tailor your trip with what YOU want to do, based on what YOU can afford. All of our bookings and transportation was arranged by his company, and there was not a single problem. Check it out –  http://www.fisheaglesafaris.com/


This is the last Africa trip post. I read a quote recently that sums up my trip, “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better,” Albert Einstein. I saw nature up close and personal and it was very moving. Writing about it all has helped me relive the memories, so thanks for coming along on the journey!

Next up, Chicago…


Leopards + Lions @ Mala Mala! — 42 Comments

  1. Ellen – I think the leopard could easily be my favorite too!! They are BEAUTIFUL. I love what you said – that writing about your trip helps you relive it. I think I love that about blogging – it helps me remember things and enjoy them over and over!! Congrats on one year! I’ve loved every single one of your posts. And can’t wait for the one on Chicago!

  2. I forgot to say what my dream vacation is. I want to go to Prince Edward Island. I’ve been fascinated with that since reading Anne of Green Gables so many years ago!! And I guess I have to say No UA since 2/28/15 comes too quickly to plan a trip.

  3. Ellen, your site is awesome. This is really amazing blog post about the leopards lions mala mala. I really loved it. They are wonderful creatures. Congratulations for year 1 of your blog journey. My dream destination would be Singapore. I have been reading histories and culture about it which is amazing. NO UA

  4. Ellen, I am so happy to see such a wonderful, creative site. I am a retired teacher and love to travel to exotic places. My dream vacation would be to East Africa. Your photos of animals are fantastic. I would love the United passes for upcoming trips.

  5. Hi Ellen,
    Thank you for sharing your stories, pictures and tips. I love your first favorite memory in India. I just started collecting miles a few months ago and loving every minute of it. You inspired me to do the same and I will share your blog with my bestfriend who is also a teacher and loves to travel. My dream vacation is India. I’m just crazy about Bollywood movies and would love to visit someday. Thanks.

  6. Hello Ellen,

    You have an excellent blog with great photos. My dream vacation spot is Norway. I have spent the past two years backpacking around the world, but the very high costs of Scandinavia have forced me to put off visiting until later in life, when I have a good career. Hopefully that won’t be too far down the road!

  7. Hi Ellen – thanks for sharing your blog. I got your link via Million Mile Secrets. I subscribed to your blog and look fwd to your adventures. I wasn’t sure if I did it correctly since you asked about dream vacation when people subscribe…so I thought I’d comment here….my dream is to go the London, Paris, and choose 2 more destinations in between. I heard Belgium is beautiful.

  8. Just came over from Million Mile Secrets. The blog looks fascinating.

    My dream vacation is to take my wife to the Greek Isles for two weeks.

    I’ve got UA passes, so please don’t enter me for those.

  9. My dream trip is to Iceland!

    I could absolutely use the United Club passes as I JUST booked a United flight to Washington, D.C. as I’ll be traveling to Saudi Arabia in 3 weeks on an academic fellowship!

    Good luck, everyone!

  10. I also got the link from Million Mile Secrets. I then spent the past 40 minutes looking through your blog. South Africa looks amazing!!!! I didn’t realize you get get so much close and personal with the lions and elephants! Loved reading it. I subscribed too :).

    My dream trip would going to Poland. I’ve never travelled to eastern Europe, but that’s where my great parents are from. I think that, while I can, visiting that area would really connect me to my (much different) life here in Arizona.

    (United Passes would certainly be helpful as I have another trip booked domestically early next year 🙂 Thx!

  11. great pics and great article with Darius. My dream vacation would be to take my family to Alaska!! I believe they would have amazing memories they would cherish for a long time.Thanks for detailing your trips for us.

  12. That’s some really nice pictures. Thank you for sharing. My dream vacation is traveling to Egypt to see the pyramids. Hopefully with my family. 🙂

  13. Thanks for the amazing pics. My dream destination is Serengeti national park in Tanzania. I have time to plan it because my kid is only two now.

  14. Hi Ellen,

    Congratulations on your blog’s one year anniversary! Your pictures look amazing. South Africa is definitely on my list of places to visit but I would say my dream destination is Bali. 🙂

  15. Wow this is is the kind of blog I have been looking for, with so many pictures to describe the experience. Love it. My dream destination is Maldives.

  16. Also came over from Million Mile secrets to read this post. No UA passes.

    My dream trip– Antarctica and Australia- the final 2 continents. But for now we’re exploring Europe (my 2nd time to many major Euro cities) and enjoying some “cheaper” vacations 🙂

  17. Hi
    I had commented on your other page to enter the contest on 5th December . Hoping you would consider the posting from that page.

  18. Hey, great website! My dream vacation is Paris, France. I have been a francophile my whole life, and being fluent in the French language and visiting Paris are on my bucket list.

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