Spotting the Big 5 - being the five most dangerous animals to hunters in Africa - is one of the most talked about travel things to do in South Africa, and on our first trip out in a safari 4WD we got to see them all! So, so incredibly lucky! Laura and I were pinching ourselves in disbelief and joy!
We joined an Outlook Safari tour, and the evening we arrived we went out in a bigger vehicle with the National Rangers, for the night safari. The Black Rhinos were the first we came across, just minding their own business, going about their day, not far from the Park road.
The most excitement was the gathering to see the Leopard - a rarer and much harder of the 5 to see - and a swarm of vehicles had surrounded the spot where she was. She had very recently completed a kill, and was in the process of dismantling the animal to get at the meat - her movements were pretty graphic, even as we watched her behind this branch.
Now, I know these photos are not the most amazing, but they are my memories. We made a point of not fussing too much with trying to capture a photo worthy of magazine glossy, and just enjoy the open air shared with these amazing creatures. My point-and-shoot did just fine for that - and my eye stored the incredible vision for me!
We saw this guy as he just walked past our truck. His three lionesses had walked past us just ahead of him, and we were stunned at being so close. He checked us all out, captive inside the vehicle, and then went on his way. We could hear his paws scratch the asphalt with every step. So amazing!
The African Elephant was actually the animal we saw the most of during our 3 day safari, with some out on their own by the side of the road, looking like big grey rocks until they moved, or in big family groups like this one. Silently making their way to wherever they were going, they were never too fussed with us watching them, as they moved toward, around and passed the vehicle.
The buffalo was the one, however, that captured my heart. Such an unusual look! So distinguished, somehow! Here is a couple of them, lying by the water in the sun. Just being themselves, in their own space! Oblivious to us checking them out.
Seriously unbelievable to be so close to these mighty beasts, in their own environment.