Feeling the “Africa”!!

Safari Cape Town Big Five!

A very early morning start to our day it was indeed… I was more excited than ever as I would see Elephants and Giraffes for the very first time in person!!! The drive to the game reserve was picturesque and makes you appreciate nature so much more. One would literally snap copious pictures before even reaching the Big Five.

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Upon arrival at Aquila Private Game Reserve, we received a very warm welcome. It was freezing cold there as the reserve is situated in the Little Karoo, the semi desert part of South Africa. The safari experience started with a scrumptious breakfast buffet and we definitely looked forward to it as the variety was plentiful and… we were starving!!! Before embarking on the game drive we had an opportunity to explore the surrounds of the game reserve and the views of the adjacent mountains are truly breath-taking. My colleague, Thami immediately spotted the elephants from afar and with my other colleague Sofie and I’s bad eyesight, Thami had to explain several times before we both got a glimpse of those beauties. This happened throughout the entire duration of our game drive as he spotted most of the animals before anyone else.

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Finally the game drive was underway. Our ranger Freddy started our game drive with a visit to the Animal Rehabilitation Center (ARC), as the game reserve highly accentuates wildlife conservation in order to re-introduce the wildlife such as Cheetahs, Crocodiles, Leopards and Lions within the Cape Region. It was sad to see this wildlife in confined areas and not in their natural environment, but I do understand the cheetahs are a captive bred and are thus controlled to ensure the worldwide cheetah survival initiative. As for the Lions, they have been saved from a heart-rending destiny whereby these animals were placed within small areas and hunters would be granted permission to shoot them.

As the game drive continued to the main reserve Freddy stopped the vehicle, he would then pick up animal manure and ask us all which animal within the reserve did we presume it could belong to and of course there would be one or two individuals who would get it right. I thought it was a great way to obtain knowledge about the wildlife on the game reserve and made us use the knowledge we had about the wildlife. Freddy had a great sense of humour as he would occasionally engage in jokes and it helped us all loosen up and feel more at ease during this experience. We then continued our drive along the waterhole where we came across Hippos, my colleagues and I named them the “lazy ones” as they laid in the same position we had left them. There was a moment that were Freddy stopped our game vehicle in the middle of nowhere as our refreshment stop, we hopped off the vehicle looking up to the beautiful African blue skies, mountain views, the wildlife within a distance and of course some sparkling wine! This was truly an incredible moment… “time stood still” for a little while here.

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Before game drive Freddy stated that there was a possibility we might not see the Big Five or the other wildlife on the game reserve, however we were fortunate enough to see the Big Five (Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Leopard & Lion) as well as the other wildlife on the game reserve (Elands, Giraffes, Hippos, Ostriches, Springboks & Mountain Zebras) .

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After our game drive we indulged in a delightful lunch and yes…it was just as marvelous as breakfast! With such a fantastic day behind us a little snooze on a way back home to Cape Town was essential.

Welcome to Africa!!!