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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Golden Gate Country: A City of Champions

Southern California is known for its stars, celebrities, and the glitz and glamour life that follows Hollywood, Los Angeles, but up north, Northern Californians...
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    A Day Out On A South Africa Family Safari Tour

    Experience a day out on a South Africa safari family tour. Read about my experience to South Africa, a family holiday that I’ll never forget.

    Family Crossing
    Safari Tour for Families, South Africa orkomedix / Family Photos / CC BY-NC-SA

    Leaving Krugar airport after an 11 hour flight to Johannesburg and a 2 hour transfer I was immediately hit by the hot and dry air on my face. Electricity was running through my veins and I was suddenly hit by an overwhelming adrenaline rush. I was about to accomplish something that had been on my bucket list since I was a small child. Ever since my parents gave me that Noah’s Ark model with two giraffes, two lions, two elephants and the hundreds of other little creatures that accompanied them, I knew I wanted to see these animals in the wild on a South Africa safari holiday.

    Our first stop was the Safari Lodge in Sabi Sands for a quick shower. We had decided to only spend one night here, to catch up on sleep before heading into the depths of Kruger. As we approached the camp my heartbeat increased more. Out of the window we saw a vast selection of wildlife, wildebeest, bushbuck, gazelle and warthogs with their tiny babies tucked protectively under their bellies. This was the perfect start to our South Africa tour. Jumping out of the van we were greeted with a refreshing drink and snacks where we were told the rules of the camp. We were not to wander off on our own, and after dark or whenever we felt scared in the case of the children, we were to have an “escort” whenever we left our rooms. This sent a shiver of fear down my body. While a safari is an exciting experience, it involves coming into close contact with dangerous animals, some of the most dangerous in the world.

    Nevertheless, it wasn’t long before we were packed into the safari vehicles and driven out with our ranger Thomas. Clutching the camera bought especially for the trip; with its extra long range zoom and important shutter setting we saw our first glimpse of one of Africa’s famous Big 5. A lone bull elephant, chomping on the bush. The size of this beast shocked us. We were so used to seeing David Attenborough narrating in hushed tones or elephants from a distance at the local zoo, the size of this beast shocked us almost as much as the wrinkly texture of its skin and the sound of its feet hitting the dry and dusty ground underfoot. For what felt like hours we stared at this creature, unperturbed by our presence. We got so close that we could see the length of his eyelashes and the flare of his nostrils. Invigorated and armed with hundreds of photos we drove on. From a distance we saw a herd of giraffes in the distance, gracefully grazing on the highest trees. We could see the babies, uncertain on their feet, their long legs not moving quite as smoothly as their mothers. As we drove up close to them they glanced in our direction, momentarily distracted by the hum of our engine and the nervous and excited chatter from within our truck. Within moments they were back to their food, stripping the tallest branches of their leaves and munching on them in the same way that we were to enjoy our delicious meal later.

    That night, exhausted and excited about the next few days, we swapped stories around the camp fire with fellow guests, sipped cocktails and had the first of what would become a daily party where we would, as a group take the important and potentially life-saving malaria tablet before collapsing into a wildlife themed slumber. South Africa tours are a must for anyone’s bucket list whether you are going on a honeymoon or family holiday.

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