There is nothing quite like going on safari in Africa. From the smell of the bush and campfires to the roar of the lions just after a kill. Africa is the last truly wild place left on earth. It is the only place left to see lion, elephant, rhino, and leopard in the wild with no fences around them. A safari brings you back to your roots and relieves you from cell phones, tv’s, and traffic.
We went on safari to a place called White Elephant Lodge in Zululand, South Africa. The White Elephant Lodge is an old colonial farm house that has been turned into a campsite. The campsite is right on the edge of a huge lake called Jozini which is home to many Hippos and Crocodiles. We stayed in tents at night with wild animals able to walk right through the campsite. Sleeping in the bush is a magical experience. Since you do not have electricity you eat dinner around the campfire and have a few drinks. After a while it gets too dark to do anything and there is nothing else to do but go to bed which is the magical part. So around 8pm you retire to bed and this is when the bush really comes alive. There are so many noises from hyenas laughing to warthogs grunting – it is something everyone must do in their lifetime.
On the first day we took a boat cruise on the lake where we had morning coffee while looking at Hippos and Crocodiles. Hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa and have killed more people than any other animal. They are extremely territorial and will charge anything that comes close to them. Our boat came a little too close a number of times, so a male Hippo would quickly swim over to tell us that we had come to close. We also came up to a few crocs sunning themselves on the riverbanks.
The next day we went on a walk in the bush. You only get the real experience of being in the bush if you go on a walk and look at animals. You have to be extremely quiet since the animals will pick up on any noises and will flee immediately. We were able to come within a few meters of a Black Rhino, Elephants, and Kudu. I highly encourage anyone that goes on safari to do a walk if they can. A ranger will accompany you with a gun in case an animal decides to charge you. Although one warning: It’s not for the faint hearted.
Here are a few photos from the trip.