a day on safari - giraffeA 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.

Angry elephant

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:


Wild dogs

a day on safari - wild dogs

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.

Fighting giraffes

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.

a day on safari in south africa


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8 thoughts on “A Day on Safari Can Look Like This

  1. Wow what an amazing experience! Those giraffes are too funny the way they fight! I just recently saw that Giraffes are now on the endangered list and their numbers have quietly dropped 40%! That makes me incredibly sad! #MondayEscapes

    Posted on December 12, 2016 at 12:59
    1. It was an incredible experience! It looks funny but it’s brutal, both of the giraffes were bleeding afterwards. I didn’t know that giraffes were endangered too. That is sad news.

      Posted on December 12, 2016 at 13:12
  2. I absolutely love safaris and I am proud to say that I simply cannot visit a zoo. I have been on over 20 game drives from my time spent in Africa and India and it just does not feel right (of course, that’s just my personal opinion). So I was obviously glued to your post about your encounters – and what a fascinating experience you had! Seeing giraffes fighting like that, well, it’s like something out of a nature documentary and you saw it live! It truly is wonderful to see which animals will behave in what way and how they will act next – and that is the beauty of safaris – nothing is certain and nothing is guaranteed, but everything is special, I call that #livingthedream 🙂 #MondayEscapes

    Posted on December 13, 2016 at 16:05
    1. Thank you for the kind comment! The giraffes were an amazing sighting, we were so lucky. The other day we went on a walk on a trail nearby and we came across some zebras. One of them was a mare with fowl and all of them just stood by completely relaxed, while we stood about 30 m. away. It was an amazing (and humbling!) experience. Definitely #livingthedream yes!

      Posted on December 13, 2016 at 19:55
  3. Wow, what an incredible day on safari. It is so unpredictable what you will see, so you really lucked in this time! Thanks for linking up with the last #MondayEscapes of 2016. See you in 2017!

    Posted on December 16, 2016 at 01:19
    1. Thank you! #MondayEscapes was fun. Have a great holiday season and until 2017.

      Posted on December 16, 2016 at 05:34
  4. Wow!! I’m trying to get to south africa eventually, going on a safari like sounds amazing!

    Posted on December 16, 2016 at 18:40
    1. It is! I love South Africa, if you ever go and want some tips, please contact me an I’ll be happy to give advice.

      Posted on December 16, 2016 at 20:11