One of the greatest experiences in my life to date is the South African Safari we took last December. An amazing opportunity to see wild animals living in their natural habitat rather than caged up in some zoo, it was a truly wonderful experience, and if, like me, you are an animal lover, I would highly recommend you add it to your “to do” list!
Unlike many who head to the Kruger National Park, we decided to visit one of the Malaria free game reserves in the Eastern Cape. I know the chances of catching malaria are slim, but as mosquitos seem to enjoy feasting on me by the thousands, we decided to take a hassle free trip to one of the smaller but equally stunning game reserves within driving distance of Port Elizabeth – and we were not disappointed!
Stretching over a whopping 7,500 hectares (or 18,500 acres if you still work in old money!), our game reserve in the Eastern Cape was by no means small, and as South Africa’s Big 5 (that’s Lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard to you and me!) roam freely, you can begin to understand the sheer size of the place.
In addition to the impressive Big 5, we also spotted a mass of zebra’s, antelope such as wildebeest, bushbuck and kudu, hippo’s, giraffe and warthogs, and as it was spring below the equator, there were hundreds of unbelievably cute babies, so the photo opportunities were endless.
For me personally, the highlight of the trip was when we came up close and very personal with a pride of lions, lying just metres away from our open top jeep. Our eagle-eyed ranger spotted two males, five females and three beautiful lion cubs as they lay amongst the tall grass, and I still remember the mixed emotions of excitement and fear as we approached these great predators.
Impassive and uninterested by our presence, the lions went about play fighting and feeding the cubs, while we busily snapped away collecting our souvenir photographs and memories that will last a lifetime.
An unforgettable experience and one I intend to do again soon, my South African Safari adventure was simply amazing, and if you would like to witness the beauty of wild animals living in their natural habitat, I can highly recommend it!