What is a safari?

I guess I went on a safari this past weekend. No, it’s really not as cool as what I thought it was going to be. Safari basically means driving to go look for animals. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you are in.

At any rate, I went on a weekend trip to Etosha National Park. It was not what I expected. I went with a private company, so we didn’t get to ride the open air jeep that I always thought I would ride. I was in a Toyota. In the front seat.

I sound disappointed, don’t I? Well, I am a little I guess. I thought it was going to be filled with close encounters and whatnot, but it wasn’t. But, it definitely was an experience. For starters, I had the world’s most colorful guide. He kept badgering me about my personal life and made me listen to super offensive rap music (from American) during the drive from CCF to Etosha National Park.

The first day we drove around Etosha and it was a dry, dry landscape with grass and wind. Not much else. We saw giraffes, elands, kudu, zebras, springboks, and blue wildebeest. It was herbivore central. We went from waterhole to waterhole (all in a little toyota, mind you). In the afternoon, when I was about to give up all hope of seeing any big African animals — boom! There it was, sitting in the waterhole, splashing around the water was a herd of giant African elephants. There was a mother and her babies. They were rolling around, kicking the water, and having a good time. We drove to another waterhole and there was also another group of elephants who slowly walked to the waterhole and played with the water/ate grass.

You have be super patient with animals. Sometimes you see them. Sometimes you don’t.

On the way to the camp site (yup, you read that right), we saw an endangered black rhino munching on the side of the road. It disappeared when we pulled in closer.

I cannot believe that I camped in Africa. A thin little tent protecting me from all the elements of the African wilderness. Oh my goodness gracious. I was a little nervous but I was surrounded by other fancier campers from South Africa, so I figure animals would go bother the fancy neighbors as opposed to me.

After showering (a cold shower) and forgetting a towel to dry, my guide pulled me out of the tent and told me he found A HONEY BADGER!!!!! Yup. A honey badger. There was an angry little honey badger that was trolling the camp site looking for food and overturning trashcans. I took some pictures. It let me get quite close, but I had to be careful or he would bite me. Oh Mr. Honey Badger, you just don’t care about anything or anyone else.

Post-dinner I went down to the waterhole near the campsite and was greeted by a beautiful site! A bunch of black rhinos came down to the waterhole to drink. There was even a black rhino mother and baby. I sat there for almost 2 hours staring at the rhinos. They were gorgeous.

The next day, I was forced to get up with the sun. I wasn’t too happy about it. I was extremely tired. But, with luck, I saw lions! They were far, far away though. They weren’t close to the road at all. But we saw 2 prides of lions lie in the shade, sleeping. You couldn’t see them in the naked eye. You have to use binoculars. At one point, one of the lionesses was about to hunt, but she gave up.

So, that’s a safari in a nutshell. Not quite the swashbuckling Indiana Jones type drive and adventure I had imagined. You definitely get to see more animals on the Disneyland Jungle River Cruise. Hahaha. I mean. I know they are plastic. I think that it’s all chance and circumstance with animals. That might mean that I have to get back to Africa again for a close encounter.

Tomorrow I’m back to work – so far my schedule looks pretty empty. I am only scheduled for 1.5 hours of dog poop cleaning. Nothing with cheetahs. I am predicting LOTS and LOTS of office work tomorrow. Not looking forward to it.

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