If you haven’t read my post for Day 1, here it is: South Africa (Hoedspruit) Travel Blog- Day 1: Kapama Buffalo Camp , Private Game Reserve
Day 2: A Humble Reminder of Life Cycle-Kapama Buffalo Camp Private Reserve
In the last post I asked a Fun Fact 1: Which seasons do the animals in the bush drink the most water?
Have you got the correct answer?!
*drum roll* ttttrrrrruuuuuhhhhhhhhh
its d) WINTER! While most of us would have guessed it as Spring or Summer, it is winter because it’s the season that is driest and the animals need to consume enough water to last through this dry season. In the other seasons, some animals are still able to get some moisture from the leaves they eat. In winter, the trees are all” botak” #lol, oh well!
This post I will cover all the game drives that we did this tour. Frankly, if we knew it earlier, I believe we would have put all the game drives at the end of the tour! While the whole trip was an awesome experience to remember, the game drives were really the highlight of the trip and it started us excited too early! So some tips for those of you who are planning for a South Africa trip: To put the safari game drives at the end of your tour.
I’m definitely not a MORNING person but the morning drive has it’s amazing motivation to wake me early to catch the 6am morning drive out! Well, all is worth it when what greets you is the moist of morning dew, the warmth of subtle sunrise and giraffes walking gracefully beside your jeep!
While the giraffes are one of the many common animals we see in the bushes, how often are you able to witness a giraffe drinking water? The animal gracefully approaches the water, bends it’s forelegs slightly and look out for any surrounding danger before proceeding to drink. It was an explicable feeling of surreal as one watches the animal by the reflection of the waters.
And I can’t tell you how blessed we are that we managed to capture a male giraffe “chasing”after a female giraffe! I guess that’s how God made us all the same huh, the boy better put in some effort for the chase haha.
( Pardon the background “commentary” by me and Guide Jeff …#lol )
Fun Fact 2: How do you differentiate a male giraffe from the female? Hehe
Clue: Male Giraffes use their neck to fend off other male giraffes when fighting for the female mate.
Answer: By looking at their ossicones! Yes, those”horns” on the giraffes are called Ossicones 🙂 Both male and females have ossicones but the tops of the males are almost always bald (due to sparring with other males ) while the females’ will be covered with hair.
The thoughtful guide decided it was time for us to drink water too and set up a table once again in the middle of the bush for us to enjoy and admire nature’s beauty as I happily sip my hot chocolate in the chill morning.
As we continue our morning drive, we were totally reminded of how blessed we are as we managed to tick another checkbox of the BIG 5! The RHINOS! As we approach the crash of rhinos, we definitely could sense the pain as our guide Jeffrey speaks about them. By the way, yes the collective noun for Rhinoceros is “crash”! ( not bad huh, this post quite educational hur #lol)
As native African and animal lover, he spoke helplessly as the illegal trade of poaching their horns torment both the animals and the animal lovers. He told us that there are only less than a handful White Rhinoceros left in North Africa, Kenya. The last I checked, indeed only 3 rhinoceros are left and they are heavily guarded with 24hour security. It really pains me to know that our children may only read about these beautiful creature as an extinct species in years to come.
The humbling experience continued as we proceed on to our Night Drive at 6pm. Night drives are my hubby’s favourite as it is indeed exciting to be driving in the darkness of the great big bush while relentlessly searching for the animals with only one big ass torchlight! Well one of the awesome part of the Safari tour is after our morning drive, we are free to rest and chill and sleep all the way until about 4pm for tea. In the afternoon most of the animals are sleeping away from the heat, thus don’t worry about not getting enough rest for this trip!
Next Up, our Guide Jeffrey can’t wait to have his alcohol party #lol as we stop by again for another drink. My poison for these game drives was AMARULA ( the elephant that I will meet the next day)- an African alcohol that tastes similar to Baileys, sweet and chocolaty! And Guide Jeff decided to be Adventurous #lol He stopped beside a PILE of shit and picked up one of them, put that small black HARD shit in his mouth and shot it out of his MOUTH! #gasps! Yes, he did that and said it’s a common African game and dared all of us to try it.
Well, when in Rome, do as the Romans do?!!! #lmao and yes all of us sportingly put that small hard little pebble-like shit and SHOT it out of our mouth to see who can shoot the FURTHEST! Hahaha frankly it did not tell awful or smelly, he told us that because this shit belongs to one breed of deer called Impala and because they are herbivores, their shit will have no smell nor taste. Sounds disgusting but oh well it’s an adventure of a life time ya!
Guess what! That’s not the highlight of the trip! As we are blissfully enjoying our alcohol, we heard a loud Roar from some creatures. Yes, Roarrrrr! #gasps! Next, it’s not funny when you see other smaller animals like Impalas galloping away and seemingly running away from their prey. Guide Jeff jokingly said, when the lion comes we can still have time to hop into our jeep, so just enjoy our drinks. #gasps! As we were all suspiciously inching towards to our vehicle, Guide Jeff finally revealed the truth.
Fun Fact 3: Do you know that the lion’s roar can travel up to 8km per hour!? #gasp!
Oh well, I heaved a sign of relief because I did hear the lions’ roar at about 2am last night and could not wake my hubs up and quickly forced myself to sleep. Good to know that the lion’s roar can travel so far! #lol
Guide Jeff hurried us up the jeep and said it is time to locate the lion!! Indeed a clever way to track the King of Jungle is to follow the Vultures.
As we followed these vultures, the feeling of ominous started to surround us as we approach this stench. I cant explained this weird fishy,bloody foul smell as the jeep was driven into a deep dark trough and the carcass of a half-eaten giraffe with its bloody ribs explained it all. Jeff said this giraffe probably tripped and fell from the lion’s chase. Sigh, I guess this is the life cycle. Thank God we managed to get out of the trough, God knows what will happen if our jeep get stuck!! #notfunnie
Day 3: JABULANI- It means HAPPINESS!!
One of my favourite part of the safari stay came as a Blessing in Disguise! Today we were scheduled for a Hot Air Balloon activity, I have been looking forward to this as it is my first and my previous attempt in New Zealand 10 years ago was cancelled due to bad weather. Guess what, yes, they called it Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong :/ Our Hot Air Balloon was cancelled due to bad weather #rolleyes . Our Kapama folks has kindly arranged for an alternative for us, Elephant Interaction at Camp Jabulani. And this is where I met my happiness, his name is JABULANI, and in native African language it literally means happiness!!!
He is SUPER duper cute!!!! As we were struggling to take a picture with him, he playfully use his trunk and twist it around us as he attempts to take his “treats” from us. No wonder the guides at this camp tell us that the elephants are really fond of the humans! These elephants are mostly rescued and not accepted by their own herd. There were futile attempts to put them back to the bushes as the elephants kept returning to this sanctuary where they can find the humans that once saved them.
We learnt so much about these intelligent animals who have such a superb memory that they may remember you the next time you visit! With many veins behind their ears, the elephants always flap their ears ( like Jumbo the elephant? #lol ) to help lower their bodies temperatures.
The next time you visit South Africa, please try to get a sip of this really nice alcohol AMARULA, and the superstar in this advertisement, his name is Sebakwe :)))
The magnificent Buffalos, marks the 4th of the BIG 5.
Some rare friends we made this trip, fun and adventurous!!!
My hubs and I were asking each other which is our favourite animal for this trip. It is really tough for animals lovers like us. However, even if you are not an animal lover, I can almost assure you that this is a once in a life time experience that is totally worth your time!! What I brought back for myself as souvenirs are these images, deeply engraved in my memories for me to savour each time I see them.