When on safari, you spend half your time desperately hoping to see animals, but when they get close (and I mean really close), panic takes over and you’d give anything to lock your windows and close your eyes….but your adrenaline kicks in and you have to live the moment. Here’s some our 3 favourite heart stopping moments from Africa…
a) On our last night in South Africa we were sitting outside our tent in the pitch black watching a lightning storm rage over the African bush. We sat in silence, watching, listening, when we heard scuffling to our right. Switching the torch on we illuminated a honeybager, who’d snuck right up the steps to our tent and was cheekily trying to shuffle by us to get to our bins to eat our scraps. Honeybadgers are nocturnal and elusive creatures. In our three previous trips to Africa we’d never seen one. They are also very ferocious and fearless, so you can only imagine how fast my heart was pounding! The tourchlight scared him off – but he returned twice that night at around 3am with his lady friend, waking us by overturning our bins. We found out the next morning that their set was right under our tent!
b) We have seen a safari vehicle get in-between an elephant mother and her calf – the mother reared up and trumpeted, signalling that she was about to charge the vehicle to get to her baby. The calf was crying – I have never heard a noise like it. It was heart breaking, and a firm reminder that they are the true bosses of the bush! Elephants are the one animals you should always keep the car engine running for – you never know when you’ll need a quick get-away. They are stunningly beautiful but incredibly dangerous.
c) In Kenya, we visited an animal rehabilitation centre and stepped into a pen with three adult cheetahs – we got to stroke (and hug) them! This was somewhat silly and is not to be recommended! The adrenaline got the better of us, and the zoo keeper was only too keen to allow it. This kind of interaction should NEVER be attempted in the wild.
Photos from our Kenyan safaris are available in our TarajiBlue Kenya gallery.