January 27, 2014

Africa Part 4 – A Safari In South Africa

Posted in: Family

Safari15

When you’re in Africa you have to do a Safari, right? It’s like going to Australia and not going to the beach, how can you not! We decided we wanted to go to the best safari in Africa so we did some research, read reviews and asked around and found that a safari in the National Kruger Park in South Africa was supposed to be the best in the world. Everyone we had spoken to, except one person, said going on a safari is an amazing experience, it’s life changing and something you’ll never forget. We liked the sound of that and booked a 7-day safari, we wanted to do something amazing for as long as possible. Before we left Australia for Africa, Andrew spoke to one of his friends who had been on a safari and had said that a safari for 7 days may be too long, they found 5 days to be a perfect amount of time, so we changed the duration just before boarding the plane to Ghana.

After the most amazing time in Ghana (which you can read about here, here and here) we jumped on a plane and flew to South Africa. We stayed in Johannesburg for 2 days and someone from the Safari picked us up from our hotel on the 2nd day and took us to Kruger National Park, it was a long 5 hour car ride to get there. Once we arrived at the camp site, we had 15 minutes to settle in, and then it was straight into the jeep for our first game drive.

Within an hour of the safari, we realised the next 5 days was going to be some of the longest days of our lives. We drove around Kruger National Park, which is the size of Israel, for 13 hours a day and saw maybe 15 minutes of animal, each day. To say we were bored out of our minds is an understatement. It was as if we were on a flora and fauna safari. After the 2nd day, driving around, Andrew and I asked each other, ‘Are we being spoilt brats for not being able to appreciate this experience? We are in South Africa, on a safari, looking for exotic animals and are bored.’ We felt guilty we were feeling this way. On the last day of our tour a couple in their 70s joined us and after a day of driving, the women turned to me and said, ‘Is the safari this boring all the time?’ Phew, it’s not just us.

In my mind, I thought the safari would be like Jurassic Park, animals everywhere, running along the jeep with us. It was nothing like that. I would describe the experience as trying to find Where’s Wally amongst all the greenery. When we did find the animals, it was pretty spectacular, you do forget you are in the wild though and it feels like you’re driving around in a zoo. We got to see the Big 5 plus every single other animal. Everyone that goes on a safari wants to see a lion or a cheater, they are pretty cool but I found the elephants to be my favourite, they were just so colossal and majestic.

The highlights of the safari were seeing a leopard in a tree and being charged by an elephant on heat, although that wasn’t fun at the time but looking back, the way we tried to escape from that scenario was like out of the movies.

My advice for going on a safari is, don’t go to Africa just for the safari but if you do go, do a 3 day safari, that’s plenty of time.

Safari^ We only saw this giraffe up close and a few in the distance, they blend into their environment so well.

Safari2^ This is an Impala and they are everywhere, they are food to almost every animal in the park. Our guide called these dudes, Bush McDonalds.

Safari3

Safari4^ Three cheaters feeding on a kill.

Safari5

Safari7^ This pregnant lady was ready to give birth.

Safari8

Safari9^ This leopard had the most crazy blue eyes.

Safari10

Safari12^ Can’t remember what these guys were called but they sure are cute!

Safari13^ This is where the YouTube hit, Battle at Kruger was filmed.

Safari14^ When you take out all the animals, this is what National Kruger Park looks like.

Safari16^ A leopard in a tree, we were pretty close to him, his skin was magical.

Safari17

Safari18

Safari19

Safari20^ A hyena.

Safari21^ Simba from the Lion King.

Safari22

Safari23^ A water buffalo, they’re pretty ugly in real life.

Safari25^ We were held up by these guys having a huge fight in the middle of the road, over something. As you can see another rhino slashed this girls face and that bird was eating the inside of her wound.

Safari26

Safari27

Safari28

Safari29

Safari30