It’s experiences like these that keep the blood flowing and ensure that you empty your wallet with repeat visits to Africa…
a) We have seen two cheetah kills. The first was a grown cub of one of the cheetahs which featured on the BBC’s Big Cat Diary. We watched her catch and kill a deer right before our very eyes. The second, was a mother cheetah and two cubs catching and killing a baby foal. The mother used it as an opportunity to teach the cubs how to hunt. They kept letting the foal escape and then catching it again. It was gruesome, but a true reminder of the circle of life.
b) We’ve witnessed the Great Migration in Kenya. We arrived at a river just in time to see hundreds and hundreds of wildebeest plough across the water, being attacked and drowned by huge crocodiles that would lurk under the water and attack at random. I think I screamed several times and barely drew breath the whole time we watch the spectacle, but it was incredible. You could sense the fear in the herd. They’d edge to the riverside and as the pressure would build and build from the hundreds of animals arriving at the scene, the animal at the front would be forced to either leap into the water or leap backwards, either way it’d cause mass hysteria and the scene would be shrouded by a wall of dust as the herds kicked up sand in all directions and splashes exploded from the water as the crocodiles leapt in to attack.
After the herds left we watched the crocodiles recover the carcasses of the wildebeest from holes in the riverbank (they’d use the river as a refrigerator) and rip the bodies to pieces and eat them. They cannot tear flesh, so they would grab the carcass in their jaws and turn themselves round and round in the water to rip the dead wildebeest to pieces.
c) A baby bat (a tiny wee thing) got into our hut in South Africa. We worked with the ranger to try and catch it to release it. It was so small and disorientated it could not fly and kept running around our floor like a distressed mouse. We spent an hour trying to safely catch it – but in the process accidentally killed the animal. It was heartbreaking, so upsetting and went against all we stand for and care about. It was a shocking reminder of our power on the planet and our responsibility to use it correctly.
Photos from our Kenyan safari are available in our TarajiBlue photo gallery.