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It was the best day of my life.
It all began with a nondescript green jeep. This jeep was different from normal because of its lack of walls and higher seating platform. While resting my laurels in this open jeep, I had just witnessed the best nature has to offer.
Elephants, giraffes, rhinos, warthogs, cheetahs, and a plethora of their hooved friends.
The sun was setting and turning all the wild residents into god-like shades of gold. It felt like we were driving into the most magical place on Earth. It wasn’t any shade of Disney, this was the wilds of South Africa. The memories of this expedition continue to delight with time. Similar to the ageing affects of meditation but better!
Pack your bags and camera! We are off to view the sights and delights of a South African safari.
THE PLEASURE OF A SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARI
The typical concerns gurgled up. As with any novice international traveler, I was concerned. Is rabies a thing in South Africa? Can I drink water from the tap? How many vaccinations do I need?
Luckily, the internet is pretty good at providing lots of information. I stick to gov sites for travel-related questions because the interweb has some pretty shady places. Side-eyeing the flat Earth society.
Plus, I talked to my doctor which was a great way to calm my concerns. My doctor was a kind human who was patient in correcting the one too many self-diagnoses.
The establishment we stayed at was called Zulu Nyala. As far as I am concerned, they can call it the “most magical place on Earth” because that is exactly what it felt like.
The bungalows were at the top of a hill which provided expansive views of the surrounding area. The private accommodations were warm with colors and nestled together.
Bonus Round: There was a pool! Mr. BuLL and I found ourselves delighting in this rare liquid treat.
The property was open, so while walking to the dining hall we frequently bumped into the “locals” – a kudo, impala, or we’d stumble across a warthog bowing at our feet. North American wildlife has yet to bow at our feet!
THE IDEAL SOUTH AFRICAN SEASON
We visited this dreamland during the winter.
It was the best time for our schedule and it is an ideal time to view wildlife in South Africa. Winter is a great time to avoid the plethora of poisonous snakes and giant ticks.
During a South African winter, robust trees become large toothpicks that wildlife continue to consume – to my astonishment. How could a stick with extra thorns be nutritious to a giraffe? Life. Is. Wild.
5-STAR SAFARI RIDE
I was standing like I have done a million times before.
Focusing my attention on the moment and the reality that had a firm grip on my mind.
The reality was that I was standing on dusty soil and watching small baby cheetahs devouring their first meat meal. As they slowly sheered away what was left of an impala, I viciously engorged on their presence.
I was eight feet from this feline family.
I still remember the red sheen of blood that covered their tiny furry faces. It was a magical, yet bloody, moment.
FEAR THE FEAR
If I had let my doubts consume me, I never would have traveled to South Africa.
I would be a lesser human for it.
If I had allowed my fear of the unknown to override my sense of adventure, it would have led to more fear and doubt.
That trip continues to be a reminder that only the brave are rewarded.
Perhaps, that was what the baby cheetah was displaying in its first meat meal, it takes courage to try something new. But if you are brave and at least try, you may be rewarded with a new destiny.
Have you been on a South African safari? Is it an item on your Life List?
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