“A picture says a thousand words; but the eyes are the only lens that makes you speechless”
Africa has been quite high on my bucket list and has been a place I’ve always wanted to venture out to for quite some time now. “Go to Africa and do an African Safari with the animals” It’s number 27/101 of my dreams list and I’m sure that list either needs to be finished or updated. It was written so long ago I’m sure some of those things would not interest me the slightest now. But, it’s also nice to see how much you grow and mature and how your interests change.
Regardless, Africa was more than just a day trip Safari ride wowaweewa! For me, one of my hearts ponderings is to visit (somewhere) in Africa and do some volunteer work for 4 months. Africa is a country of its own kind. I see more than just the crime, danger and segregation. I see realness, struggle yet strong people who still manage to wear a smile on their face. I did expect to get a culture shock but I was not there long enough to experience this. Maybe one day eh?
2nd August 2017:
I was sick the day prior but by Gods grace Safari day came and I was magically well. Coincidence? I think not!
We were a group of six. So we rented two cars from AVIS and drove 3 hours north from Johannesburg to a Game Reserve called Entabeni.
We arrived at the accomodation entrance and wow. What a view! Everything was mountainous yet the sand was a deep red. We saw little pumbas running around the entrance. I felt like I was in a real life Lion King.
We booked a package at the Ravineside for 6 and in includes the below:
- Twin/Queen Bedroom
- Welcome Drinks
- Evening Game Drive
- Picnic includes one beverage and shared snack platter
- Morning Game Drive
- Light refreshments and tea/coffee prepared for you at the communal area
All this came to a total of 990 rand per person.
I would highly recommend this place. The beds were comfortable, the food was beyond delicious (they have freshly made eggs to order for breakfast), and the scenery and animals were on their best behaviour (hehe)! Our park rangers name translated to “Lucky” If I must say – we were pretty Lucky considering we saw most of the animals.
Evening Game Drive
We saw giraffes, impalas, kudus, rhinosarus, elephants, a monkey, wildebeests (the stampede that killed Mufasa), pumba (timons bestie), horn bill bird (zazu bird from lion king), lion (Simba – DUH!). The only animal I didn’t see was the Meerkat! Otherwise I would have seen the whole Lion King gang. It was pretty spectacular. I felt as if all these cartoon characters had turned to life. Just for a day!
There’s something so beautiful about seeing animals in their own habitat, uninterrupted. My highlight from this Game drive was seeing the elephants. We saw them in the distance playing. There was a Mum, Dad and two kids. It looked like the two kids were playing in their room (they had a tree each, tugging the leaves and busily eating away) while their parents played fondly with each other. The way they teased and wrestled with their trunks was something I remember thinking “wow, us as humans when we flirt with the other sex, we push each other around, laugh and play. Animals are no different in their courtships with each other and it was so authentic to see” It made me feel as though animals and humans aren’t so different after all. That playful fun side is also something animals have the ability to do. I forget that animals do have their own quirks and personalities.
After it became too dark to see any other animals we pull up to the middle of the safari outback and enjoy a glass of wine and some snacks.
I looked up to the stars and I stared at the sky. I like to do this when I’m traveling. I always ponder on how I’ve seen these exact same stars in another country or wherever I go we see the same sky on this earth. It really takes me breath away; that I’m able to experience the same sky with stars over my head, even though I’m miles away from home. It’s kind of like my comfort. That I’m so far, yet so close.
We arrived back at our accomodation and we had the staff waiting for us with some hot chocolate. It was seriously freezing that night so not sure if it tasted better because of the weather or the chocolate sweetness to milk ratio was made exactly the way I liked it.
3rd August 2017:
With little to no sleep (thanks jet lag!) we were up early ready for our next adventure. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. Although I was wearing 3 pants, 5 layers of tops/jumpers and jackets and one scarf. Not to mention in the jeeps they do provide blankets, as they are open air vehicles. You know, so you can get the full experience with the crisp African winter breeze against your skin.
With no time to waste we were ready waiting for our ranger so we could see more animals!
Today was one of those days where I felt like I was living in my jungle book dream. We drove through a different part of the Game Reserve and there were plenty of lakes. I could see nature reflecting like a mirror onto the lake. Every colour, every tree, every mountain, every crease was exactly as I saw it, reflecting with a butterfly reflection against the still water. It was so calming and peaceful. It was beauty written in Africa. This time of reflection on the jeep, it reminded me of all those movies set out in Africa and I felt like I was sitting right inside my television screen. I remember feeling something different, I had never experienced while traveling before. Some places I had traveled to I was overwhelmed, some places I felt underwhelmed. Today I just felt whelmed. Africa was exactly how I pictured it. Nothing more, nothing less. I felt exactly how I thought I would feel. It fulfilled that dream I had inside me and I felt content, peaceful, silent and serene. It was a quiet drive. We didn’t see many more animals than what we had seen the day before, but there was something about that African air that entered into my lungs and made its way to my heart. Ahhh! Exactly how I thought I would feel. It was perfect.
I’m not going to lie. I have two highlights from this mornings Game Drive.
After we were driving around for a while and my heart was content with the scenery. Just when I didn’t expect it, my heart squeeled a little bit harder when we came across these baby cheetahs.
On the reserve they had two male cheetahs. When they want to breed a certain kind of animal they will purchase the opposite sex and place them in the reserve so they will mate. Now the two male cheetahs are brothers. From birth, they were inseparable! So when this fine lady drinking her water this morning came along they both mated with her. Once she fell pregnant and had her cubs (pictured above – cuuute aren’t they?) these two brother cheetahs left her with her cubs so they could be together again.
Unlike the love-bird elephants. These two cheetahs were loyal to each other. They do not leave each others side. Whoever said bromance was dead?
“Animals taught me that Love and Loyalty are not limited to humans.”
After we admired these beautiful creatures I was done! My life felt like it was complete. And just when you think it was over… and then there was more.
We bumped into Simba again today but this time he was ripping to shreds a wildebeest he had caught to eat. While Nala laid in the middle of our track having a post feed catnap. It was the most intriguing part of the entire Safari. Okay, I lied THIS WAS DEFINITELY MY HIGHLIGHT!!
We were so close to the action. As he sat there ripping this beast to shreds, tucked in between the bushes we could hear every yank and tear of his breakfast. It was incredible to see. I wish I could have seen the hunt! That would have been something to die for… literally! I watched animal planet A LOT when I was growing up so seeing this right infront of my eyes… again… felt like I had magically just popped into my television screen. The best part? You couldn’t change the channel. After we saw this I knew it was time to head back but wow! What a way to end the safari!