As I wrote on March 17th in my final post to this blog before going dark for a few months, I was about to head to South Africa for a couple of weeks of travel and work. So it makes sense to start where I left off now I am attempting to work my way through that back catalog.
The first half of the trip was mainly comprised of visiting with poor communities but did have a day off near the start to go on Safari so I’ll stick a few shots here and share a couple of stories before moving on to a few faces from those meetings next week & then moving onto the business portion of the trip after that.
Above was one of our wonderful guides who took us on an early morning, walking safari! Definitely a new experience for me as we approached big game without the protection of a vehicle.
We carefully approached this guy below who was laying down in the middle of thick bushes far from any road. Had we not been on foot we would have never found him. As we advanced, as slowly & quietly as possible, he must have heard or smelt us as he got to his feet and started suspiciously looking in our direction. I moved as slowly as possible to manoeuvre to frame my shot so we could catch his eye before we moved on.
Walking around for for 4 hours through the bushes and plains of Kruger felt both amazing as well as slightly eerie. An unreal experience akin to being in a movie you’d watch but never expect to feel in person. Not knowing what could potentially be lurking behind any rock. Luckily we didn’t have to get too nervous because we had two fantastic guides who were both knowledgable & respectful of the environment we found ourselves moving through. They also had massive guns although I’m glad they know how to avoid needing them.
The highlight of the day probably came when we were back in the 4×4 and moving along one of the dirt roads. We got to splash through small streams and wind down narrow paths as we traversed the park looking for wildlife that had been a bit scarce since we’d come back to the vehicles. We’d almost given up hope of seeing much more when suddenly we came across a couple of elephants.
We pulled up the 4×4 at the side of the road to watch as parade of elephants came upon a mud-hole and began to cool themselves. There were bulls, mothers & babies all sucking up mud with their trunks then spraying in the air so it’d land on their backs to cool them off. Absolutely amazing to watch & sort of made up for the fact we didn’t see any lions. A great day well spent.