So I’ve finally had some time to go through the photos I took from this South Africa trip. There are a lot so I’m gonna have to break this blog about my trip into three parts. This is the Safari part and will probably be the most interesting to animal lovers, Discovery Channel freaks and carnivores(you’ll see why in a sec).
So the first stop on the trip was the Tanda Tula Lodge in the Timba Vate private game reserve on the edge of Krueger National Park. I have been on Safari before but this time I wanted to get the real bush experience. Tanda Tula puts all of their guests in tenets rather than an actual lodge. This way you are right in the bush with all the sites sounds and smells right there all around you. Animals can literally walk right up to your tent if you’re lucky enough. We were taken on two game drives a day, one at 6 am and another at 4pm. These are optimal animal viewing times because they hide away from the heat of the day.
What surprises most first time safari goers is actually how close you can actually get to the animals, especially the predatory animals. My Mom almost crapped herself a couple times as Lions and Elephants passed within feet of the jeep. The rangers’ explanation is they see the large topless jeep as one large and harmless entity so they do not feel threatened by them. Also these animals have grown accustomed to these jeeps following them around. That said, if you step out of the jeep,you’re looking to become mince meat.
I guess the goal of every safari trip is to see the big five. The big five are Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Leopard and Lion. My last safari I didn’t see the Leopard but I did see a kill, which was a pride of Lionesses catching and killing a large Kudu, which is like a big deer. I filmed this but haven’t had time to put it on the site. It was gruesome but fascinating at the same time. I’ll post it when I get a chance. Here’s a Lion we saw the first evening eating a buffalo. The buffalo must have been dead for a couple days because the stench of rotten meat was horrible. This photo was taken from about 20 feet away and in low light thus the blurriness.
Last time we missed the Leopard but this time we saw one the first day. He was sleeping on the edge of a dry river bank. When we came back the next morning, he was eating this gazelle breakfast.His spots were so amazing and I was lucky to get some nice golden sunlight to enhance the photo.
Elephants are amazing creatures. Usually you only see them in the Zoo or shackled down for tourists to take a ride on. But when you see them in the wild in their natural environment eating, playing and bathing, you really get to see them as the graceful animals that they are. Especially this cute little baby.
But even these guys can become fierce. This Moma got protective of her clan and made a charge for us because my Dad was talking too loud. Luckily our tracker Phillip banged on the hood of the car and stopped the charge about 2 feet from the car. When elephants stick their ears out like that, it means they’re pissed off.
Rhinos are really cool too. They really look prehistoric from head to toe. On this trip, the Rhino was proving to be elusive. We spent most of our last morning trying to find one to complete the big five sighting. We had to do some serious off-roading through the bush to catch up to this one.
Also on the last morning we followed a pride of Lions that was being tracked down by this male Lion. This beautiful male was waiting for the right opportunity to attack and fight the adolescent male of the pride to kick him out and take over.
You might think this is cruel and unfair but the adolescent male of this pride is also the brother of these lionesses so he needs to go, otherwise inbreeding occurs.
Incest is not best. This pic kinda reminds me of Lust Caution.
We waited for over an hour but no fight but the tension was thick!
If you ever get a chance to go on Safari, do it. It might change your life and it definitely will change the way you look at the world and maybe even inspire you to take some measures to take better care of this planet so beautiful creatures like these can continue on living in freedom.