Going on safari in South Africa was one of the best experiences of my life. I’ll be honest when I say I wasn’t super enthusiastic about going. Not that I wasn’t excited to see wild animals; however, for me it was more of a bucket list item because everyone said it should be, rather than something I genuinely longed to do.
It took about five minutes at Honeyguide Tented Safari Camps for me to realize exactly why it was so high on everyone’s travel wish lists. This was not merely driving around and looking at animals; this was immersing yourself in THEIR world, seeing how they interact, hunt, have sex, care for their young, work in groups, work solo, eat, protect themselves, play, survive. I learned so much more than any zoo could teach me — and also didn’t feel that pang of sadness seeing wildlife caged for people’s entertainment. At night on safari, I went to sleep to the sounds of lions growling a mere 20 feet (6 meters) away from my tent.
This photo is so simple, yet it’s one of my favorites from the trip. I’m not sure if it’s the bright orange-red grass backdrop, the fearlessness of the ostrich wandering alone in open plains or the beauty of the bird as it struts its stuff over the landscape. I just know that when I took it, I felt truly thankful to be witnessing such natural beauty and to be experiencing something I never could back in New York City, where I live.
Oh, and few fun Ostrich facts as told to me by my guide:
- The ostrich is the world’s largest bird, sometimes weighing up to 320 pounds (145 kilograms) and reaching heights of 9 feet (2.7 meters)
- An Ostrich’s legs, with their two-toed feet, not only allow them to run over 70 miles-per-hour (113 kilometers-per-hour), but can also kill even the most dangerous predators (think lions!) with one kick
- Ostrich eggs are larger than any other bird’s, typically weighing about 3.1 pounds (1.4 kilograms)
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Have you gone on safari? What was your experience like? Please share in the comments below.