Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pre-Internship Adventure: African Safari with Rebekah and Stephen

It is hard to know where to start with describing the wonderfully spectacular start to my summer! My brother, Stephen, and sister, Rebekah, flew with me into Johannesburg and from there we traveled to the Limpopo region to participate in a five day safari in the Greater Kruger area. Tsakane is the name of the camp were we stayed and it is a beautiful place!

Through the course of the week we saw lots of wonderful things including zebra, giraffe, wildebeast, impala, waterbuck, warthog, crested franklins, and Cape buffalo! In the mornings we would wake early and have coffee and a snack before heading out for a morning bush walk. We would return to camp around 11am and enjoy a tasty breakfast then relax for the hottest portion of the afternoon. Around 3pm we would either go out for another walk or drive out, always to a beautifully scenic place and wait for the sun to go down. Driving back to camp we would keep a keen eye out for any animals (or chameleons, if we were lucky) that we happened to pass.

On Thursday, Ian and Barry took us into the Kruger National Park. We enjoyed a tremendous day in the park with lots of wonderful sightings. One of the biggest highlights was when we came across a large pride of lions. It turned into the perfect photo opportunity when a large female and about four cubs made their way across a creek bed and into an open field, stopping to lounge right beside the road where we were parked! It was everything you dream of when you think of a safari in Africa! By this time it was late afternoon and the sun was going down, reflecting on the grass and lightening up the coats of these magnificent animals. The photos taht I took could not capture the beauty of the moment.

We were also fortunate enough to see several herds of elephant and got quite close to one group. Elephants have always been my favorite, even though I adore many of the spectacular animals found in this area. They have a unique kind of beauty which will always hold a special place in my heart.

I can remeber being a child and thinking of how wonderfully adventureous it would be to go on an African safari, but I never dreamed that I would really have the opportunity to go one day! This is only the very beginning of my summer and already I have had more fun than I can express with words. All of South Africa that I have seen so far is beautiful and many of the people are wonderful to visit with. I think it is amazing how the names change, countries are different, but people are at heart the same. You can find friends anywhere you go if you are willing to open you heart and let them in!