I have always had a love for animals. A lot of the things on my bucket list have to do with traveling and animals (example: Ride an elephant, Ride a Camel to the Pyramids, swim with dolphins, etc..). Ever since I knew what a safari was, I have wanted to go on an African Safari. I figured it would be far in the future when I was much older. I never imagined going on one in my 20's. I figured Africa is so far away and super expensive to take a trip like that, but here I am at 28 years old... going to South Africa. *Be prepared for A LOT of pictures. I had bought a 300 mm zoom lens and a safari was such a fun photo opportunity*
I was SO excited to go on an African Safari! We had to get up at 4:30am to start our Safari at 5:30am (the animals are more active in the early hours) and although I am not a morning person, I was SO happy and excited that I couldn't get the smile off of my face. It was cold too, but I still loved every minute of it. Stacie even dressed up for the Safari. I was pretty bummed that I didn't know she was going to do that, otherwise I would have joined her. Oh well, I will for the next Safari, because there WILL BE another Safari in my future.
Our tour group split up into 4 different open vehicles and we were on our way. It was like a treasure hunt. We were driving around Kruger Park... everyones eyes searching the brush, bushes and trees looking for animals. When the driver or someone else would find something, we would stop the car and everyone would be quite and take lots of pictures and watch the animals for a while and then we would move on to find the next email. We did this all day long. Drove around for 3 hours, then took a break. Drove around for another 2 1/2 hours then took a lunch break.
On my lunch break, I took notice to these beautiful bluish green birds. I threw out one bread crumb to one of them and then a whole flock came at my feet. I wondered if they would eat out of my hand, so I tried it and they did! So I hand fed them for a while... other people started taking pictures of me. One of the birds that came was deformed (his beak & foot) it was so sad so I think I fed him a little more than the rest.
Then we were back driving around the park again for another 3 1/2 hours and then we were done. I never got tired of driving around and looking for and seeing the animals. What did we see? Springbuck (South Africa's Rugby mascot), Waterbuck, Kudu, Hyenas, Warthogs, Crocodiles, Hippos, Rhino's Baboons, another kind of monkey, lots of different types of birds, Elephants, Giraffes, Buffalo, and ZEBRA!!
Funny story about the Zebra... my roommates had told me before I left that I had to get a good picture of a Zebra so that we could blow it up and hang it in our downstairs bathroom which is now Zebra theme. I told them... well, what if I don't see one. They told me I HAD to and when I did, I had to get a great picture. In the beginning I was seeing them but they were covered by bushes and I could only see their stripped butts. I told Stacie that my roommates were going to be so disappointed. I just HAD to get a good picture. Then a little later we came across these 3 beautiful Zebras and they totally let me do a photoshoot of them. I was so happy. I ended up getting some great pictures of them.
We were in South Africa during their Spring which was not only fun because it was Whale season, everything was blooming and the weather was great, but also because there was lots of baby animals. They were very cute to watch. I think the baby Elephants & baby Giraffes were my favorite to watch.
There was one thing that I was a little bitter about with the Safari. We didn't see a Lion or a Leopard. They tell you when you go to the park that you just never know what you are going to see when you are there, it is the luck of the day. I wouldn't have been to mad about us not seeing these animals if it was just the luck of the day... but everyone else on our tour saw them except for our car. WHAT?! Yeah... its because for some reason our driver decided to not stay with everyone else. And even though he was being called on the radio and told where these animals were... he didn't take us there. We were also the first ones back and had to wait 45 minutes for everyone else that got to see the animals we didn't get to see. Ya... we were a little bitter. What did we get instead? A flat tire...
I was a little bitter about it for a while, but we made some good friends on our safari and we still got to see a lot... and I totally plan on going on another safari... so... next time right? I still loved it and recommend the experience to anyone that is able to do it.