Travel Stories: Safaris – How Close Can You Get?

On July 8, 2014 by DaniLew

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Before I went on safari to Africa, some of my friends wondered aloud (or asked me directly) how close I thought I would get to the wild animals.

Well… in Sabi Sands Game Reserve – South Africa, an all-terrain vehicle is allowed to go off-road.  However, most of the time we did not have to; the animals believe the road is for them as well.

These elephants greeted us near the gate.

We stalked this poor lion for more than one hour.

Lion walking on road towards safari vehicle full of tourists in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa - taken with a Nikon D300 camera and Nikon 80-400 VR II lens

Lion walking on road towards safari vehicle full of tourists in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

And as you can see, we got pretty close.

Tourists plus man in shotgun seat take pictures of Lion as it walks close by safari vehicles in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa - taken with a Nikon D300 camera and Nikon 80-400 VR II lens

Tourists plus man in shotgun seat take pictures of Lion as it walks close by safari vehicles in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

The guy in the shotgun seat was in no real danger since Solo (the lion) had just finished off a Buffalo for breakfast.

On the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe, young Elephants frolicked in their own little corner while their elders munched on leaves in the shade.

With tourists watching, Elephants frolicking in the Zambezi River, Zambia

With tourists watching, Elephants frolicking in the Zambezi River, Zambia

It was the same on the Chobe River in Botswana.  The Elephants had one patch of beach while the Hippos rarely raised their heads above the water on their own stretch of sand.

With tourists watching, an Elephant takes a swim in the Chobe River at Chobe National Park, Botswana - taken with a Nikon D300 camera and Nikon 80-400 VR II lens

With tourists watching, an Elephant takes a swim in the Chobe River at Chobe National Park, Botswana

By and large, the animals ignored us as long as we were unobtrusive.

Tourists taking pictures of Rhino on the road at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa - taken with a Nikon D300 camera and Nikon 80-400 VR II lens

Tourists taking pictures of Rhino on the road at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa

However, sometimes the animals just didn’t feel like being nice.

Tourists stopped by Cape Buffalo blocking the road at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa - taken with a Nikon D300 camera and Nikon 80-400 VR II lens

Tourists stopped by Cape Buffalo blocking the road at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa

So, my friends, your curiosity should be satisfied!

 

 

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