…cos let’s face it! You kinda go on safari to see the Lions amirite?
Our final day on safari before heading off to Cape Town started a lot greyer than all the other days.
Still, it’s gotta be said, grey in South Africa – especially on safari beats grey in London anytime so there were no complaints from my end.
With a promise to head back to my private pool and a “Good morning!” to the resident antelope, we hopped into our safari jeeps in search of as many animal sighting as we could cram in this final morning drive.
Turns out, we didn’t have to go very far – literally within seconds of driving outside of the gates, we noticed movement in the bushes.
Those movements turns out to be lioness, prowling her way through the forest.
We were so pleased and in awe of this magnificent creature that it took us a couple of minutes to realise that there was more than one lion around us.
Slowly, they all started to emerge through the bushes…
… and I would be lying if I said I didn’t panic even just a little bit.
If you’ve ever seen a lion close up, you’ll probably have seen that even when they’re sitting down, they stare straight at you in a way that will certain send a chill up your spine.
(Not this one above though – that one was just so darn cute!)
Although, we had been reassured for days that we were fine, the idea of being surrounded by the lions in an open top car did not make me relax any further. Or maybe that was just the adrenaline of coming so close to them. Either ways, it was definitely one of the most memorable mornings during our time here and one that could very easily get rid of the need for caffeine to wake you up in the morning!
The sight of vultures overhead doesn’t help either! 🙂
I swear at one point, one of the lionesses (the Queen bee, I reckon), walked straight up to our tracker staring him down. How he didn’t lose his nerve I have no idea!
The pride in total was about 11 lions strong and (females lions and cubs only – no adult males) definitely lent themselves to my obsession with taking far too many photos on safari. If you’ve been, you’ll know what that feels like and if you haven’t, well you have that to look forward to. (Seriously, I came back with almost 5,000 safari photos!)
Eventually, the lions started to move and slowly, we started our car and headed in the opposite direction…
…bumping straight into some warthogs who no clue what they’d just missed!
Before long, our drive led us straight into the middle of a herd of buffalos, who we’d been warned not to get to close to as they’re the most dangerous of the Big 5. Honestly, after seeing the lions a herd of buffalos feels a lot less intimidating.
That’s our tracker below by the way!
Soon enough, we stopped for morning tea..
…which went down a treat by the river…
…watching the animals in the distance.
After morning teas and a bit of a wake-up, we were back on our merry way, where once again, we heard a rumbling in the bushes. Given the size of said rumbling, we instantly knew we’d bumped into an elephant. (Even though for the first couple of minutes, we couldn’t even see it).
More elephants joined the first one…
And in a scene reminiscent to seeing the lions earlier in the day, a whole herd of elephants started to appear, seemingly out of nowhere…
….and of course, I then proceeded to fill my camera with a million and one elephant photos!
See what I mean?
Standing next to safari jeeps, you start to get a true sense of how big these animals are. They look cute but don’t let that cuteness lull you into a false sense of security – they’re also very powerful!
The elephant (turns out it’s female) was soon accompanies by its calf….
…and dozens of other elephant grazing their way through the forest.
Not a bad day for sightings right? That’s also 3 of the big 5 right there (Lions, Buffalo and Elephants).
We stumbled across some rather clumsy zebras with an ominous looking giraffe carcass in the distance before hitting our final major sighting for the morning – white rhinos! (Again, not because of their colour but because someone long ago apparently mistakenly translated the Afrikaans world “Wide” into “White” i.e. Wide Mouth)
4 out of 5 for big 5 sights in all! Not a bad way to end a safari trip, right? 😉