Our safari adventure started in Johannesburg but we didn’t get to see much of the city. We arrived late in the afternoon and by the time we had checked into the hotel, freshed up, gone for a quick dip in the pool and subsequently had to refreshen up again, it was night time so we headed out into town, gorged on so much food (like seriously, I can put it away but even I was defeated on this occasion).
We didn’t really get to see much of Johannesburg as we drove to Sandton straight from the airport and drove right back out the next day to fly into Kruger National Park where we would be going on safari all week!
The flight was fairly short – just a little under an hour and before long, we said goodbye to the gridded suburbs of Johannesburg and said hello to the open fields/savannah that is Kruger National Park.
If you squint real hard at the photo below, you’ll see Zebras in the corner. (Lloyd say elephants at a watering hole from his side).
We arrived before our luggage (long story but I’ll have to tell that one later) but I honestly didn’t even care – I was too excited. Plus, I kept all the stuff that mattered in my hand luggage so once we informed that our bags would arrive on the next flight, we headed off to our resort with one of the rangers who’d been with us the whole time.
Best part of waiting to find your luggage? Everyone else’s had gone with the other rangers so Lloyd and I had the jeep to ourselves!
So, I was expecting a quiet and uneventful transfer to the hotel where my plans were just to have lunch (and a lot of South African wine) before our evening safari ride…
…turns out, an airport transfer here is not like one anywhere else!
The animals were everywhere and I can not tell you how much gibberish I muttered while hurriedly trying to find my camera! I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even speaking English after a while and just squawking in excitement!
The zebras were the first to say hi…
… followed by some impala.
Even Pumba stopped to say a quick hello before darting off with a grunt to go find more bugs for lunch… (Warthogs eat bugs right? Is it bad that all I know about them is from Lion King?)
The wildebeest stormed past in a hurry but with no destination in particular…
…and those plains – such a magnificent blend of blues, browns and greens! (Excitement levels were already through the roof by this point).
And then we saw our very first wild giraffe! This was it – we were on safari!
FYI, I’m aware how silly that sounds, like I didn’t know we were going on safari all this while but honestly, sometimes with every vacation/trip you take – especially with ones you’ve been planning for a while, there’s always that one moment that signifies the start of your travel… (e.g. seeing the Eiffel tower in Paris for the first time). This was definitely it for me! This was almost magical!
… obviously, the giraffe didn’t feel the same way.
As we made our way to the resorts, all plans to relax just disappeared. I was thinking a nap by the pool in a wine-drenched state would have been atop of my list but with all the excitement and adrenaline, that would definitely not be happening!
…by the time we arrived at the hotel, I’d even forgotten all about the luggage that hadn’t arrived! There were too many elephants, rhinos, lions, cheetahs, zebras and giraffes to be seen (and too much South African wine to drink) to be worried about where in the world my clothes and luggage were. 🙂