African Safari Walk

Safari walk

Safari walk

On Christmas Eve Day, we took a sunrise safari walk with two guides from Lataba Rest Camp in Kruger National Park. This was the first time we have taken a walk out in the wild like this and it was quite stimulating. Our two guides each carried a large calibered rifle and told us to walk in single file behind them. We were also told to be quiet and do NOT run away if we encounter a large animal. The larger animals will usually run away when they detect us, they said, but if you run they will give chase and are usually faster than you.

We only had one large animal close encounter on our walk. We did see plenty of impala, zebra, and evidence (dung and tracks) of many other large animals (elephant, buffalo, leopard, giraffe, and more). We did see and hear many, many birds. Our guide was able to recognize pretty much all the birds, and had bird calls on his phone which he used to make the birds fly out. Birds are very territorial and would fly out to see who the intruder was.

Guide describing dung beetle

Guide describing dung beetle

Our guide told us about the dung beetle and how they will roll the dung into a ball and then plant a larvae of their young in one, then bury it in the ground. Some animals can find them and dig out the larvae for a snack. He also told us about spiders that burrow in the ground and teased one out for us to see.

During a break, a cape buffalo just wandered into view only 50 meters away. He suddenly got a whiff of our scent and bolted back the way he had come.

Our guides took us to the site of elephant bones, an almost complete collection. We were amazed how heavy the bones were.

On the way back, Trisha spotted a young impala laying on the ground. It was dead at the bottom of a small creek bed. Our guide said it looked like it was simply weak and perished from falling behind the herd. He was surprised scavengers hadn’t found it yet, and said it probably only recently died.

Here is a small photo album from the walk. A truly memorable event for us.


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