Why you should go on an African safari at least once in your life

Going on a safari in Africa will give you adrenaline rushes like roller coasters, surprise you with moments you never expected and which you will always remember. You will never know what will end up happening and what you’ll see. Lions chasing wildebeests or impalas, bathing rhinos, giraffe calves drinking their mother’s milk, elephants helping each other climb a steep hill, or animals that may become extinct soon. I hope this will not be the case, but you never know… I sure hope, my children and grandchildren will be able to witness these wild creatures in their habitat as well rather than seeing them locked up in a zoo.

There are plenty of countries and all kinds of safaris to choose from.

But if you’ve never been on a one, here’s why you need to go ASAP:

You will see the Big Five – lions, buffalos, rhinos, leopards, and elephants

To see all of the Big Five, it’s pretty safe to say that you have to go on several safaris through multiple parks and/or on multiple days. If you get to see all in one day, you’re extremely lucky!

On my first day, our game rangers told us that the brown spot on a branch of a tree, which I was only able to make out through binoculars, was a lion’s butt. That didn’t technically count as having seen a lion, so I was determined to find one the next day. I’m extremely proud to say that in a bus of 17 people, I was the one to spot a lioness first, yelled out “there’s a lion” in English, even though everyone on the bus was German (that’s what living in the US for eight years does to you). And not only was there one lioness, but there were two AND four cubs! WAAAAH! They were so far away that the footage I got is barely recognizable unfortunately, but – here’s a picture of a male lion that we spotted later:

 

 

And here’s a buffalo:

 

I also saw a leopard, but only with binoculars, so there was no way to get a great picture of it…

But I got to shoot (pictures of!) plenty of elephants and rhinos:

 

You will see their babies

What do you feel when you see a puppy like this?

Photo courtesy of Flickr by Jonathan Kriz

Did you just go “awwwww”? And don’t you just want to pet him and squeeze him and kiss him? Yes? Now, multiply these feelings times 10 because once you will see your very first lion, elephant, giraffe, or rhino baby in fucking front of you, your eyes will almost fall out and if you don’t hold yourself on the jeeps’ handles, you will fall out of it too. Like, seriously, how cute are they?!

 

You will see other animals such as zebras, hyenas, wildebeest, monkeys

You will learn that not every road block is a bad road block

You will see animals before they will become extinct (I’m still hoping this won’t happen, of course!)

We saw African Wild Dogs, of which only around 6,000 are left, 350-400 in Kruger Park in South Africa.

You will be surprised by breathtaking situations that you normally watch on Nat Geo

Here, we watched elephants climbing up a steep hill. They were looking out for each other and helping each other! The last one barely made it while his buddy was closely watching him until he was able to make his way up.

 

You may see an elephant’s fifth leg

That’s in case you were curious how big their wiener’s really are…

You will learn about random facts such as

  • Black Africans have better eyesight than Caucasians (witnessed this firsthand because all 10 white people in our group always had to use binoculars whereas the dark-skinned game rangers were able to see even well-camouflaged animals with their naked eyes)
  • Beetles are able to roll a ball of shit that’s roughly 5 times their size! Here’s proof:

  • African Elephants are pregnant for 22 months
  • Giraffe calves weigh 100-120 kg
  • Hippo head with ivory weighs more than the rest of the hippo
  • Rhinos mark their territory
  • Elephants scare off rhinos
  • Hippos are the deadliest animals in Africa
  • Termite queens lay 30,000 eggs per day, about an egg every 3 seconds
  • Impalas are also called McDonalds of the bush – fast food for lions

You will get photobombed

Did these rhinos really just dare to sneak into my selfie?

You will share your bathrooms with all kinds of insects

Grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, cockroaches, or, if you’re lucky, butterflies:

You will feel like you’re in one of your favorite Disney movies – The Lion King

Now what are you waiting for? Book a damn safari!

 

Read about my safari in Tanzania, where I slept with a scorpion inside my tent and was dragged down a waterfall, here.

 

 

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