A day on safari might be my favourite thing about being in South Africa.
A day on safari is unpredictable and none of them will be identical. So far I’ve been on around 10 full days of safari (including land- and water-based safari’s in South Africa, Sri Lanka & India) and each day was completely different.
Recently I visited the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park and we had some interesting animal sightings. We saw wild dogs, were mock-charged by an elephant and saw a vicious fight between two giraffes. These are all incredibly rare sightings, although elephants are known to cause trouble when they are in musth.
The day started early, since we left for the park at 4 o’clock in the morning. This means that we were the first group in the park. Our first sighting was definitely enough to wake me up properly. It was an elephant bull in full musth and in a terrible mood. It had already busted the window of a bakkie (pick-up truck) and mock charged us too.
Luckily, I caught it on video:
After that high-adrenaline start of the day, things slowed down a little with some less intense sightings. Then, we got really lucky. A pack of wild dogs crossed right in front of the car.
Several species of wild dogs are endangered and populations are dwindling. There are approximately 70 wild dogs in the park, so seeing them is rare. These are African wild dogs, which are currently listed as endangered by the IUCN.
Then, we drove past a group of giraffes around a watering hole. Our guide warned us that 2 male giraffes were sizing each other up, warning us that something might happen. Oh boy, was he right.
The two giraffes started fighting, which they do by whacking each other with their heads and necks on the body and the legs. It was brutal. I will never forget the thumping sound the impact of their hits made. Here’s a small clip of what fighting giraffes look like:
All of that in a day on safari.
Do keep in mind that each day is different. Some days on safari might be slow, others might be jam-packed with action or rare sightings. After al, it’s not a zoo. You’re dealing with wild animals. An experienced and certified guide is paramount for good sightings because they are much better spotters than the average human beings. In addition, they also know a thing or two about getting away from angry elephants 😉
I’m excited for whatever might happen on coming safari days. Have you had some special sightings? Please share your safari experiences in the comments below!
This post is linked on Monday Escapes.