Magnificent doesn’t even begin to describe nature’s beauty. As I stood on the seats of our jeep, gripping binoculars, and slightly leaning out the window, I saw baboons running along the dirt road and endless plains as far as the eye could see. Honestly, I was not sure what to think on our drive to the park that morning — if anything I was preparing myself for another Iguazu waterfall experience; a beautiful environment put on display to make money from tourists. We did discuss the possibility of the safari being a similar situation post exploring the savanna, but even if it was, that fact was well hidden. The national park, however, did remind me of Disney Animal Kingdom, or rather Disney reminded me of the park. Once Danielle pointed this out I could not get the relation out of my head. So, I am not really sure what to think of this besides good job Disney! You really hit the nail on the head when replicating this environment. Okay now moving on from the Disney aspects, safari. Wow. It was amazing to be in the environment of these animals, especially since before I had only seen these animals in zoos behind cages or barbed wire or secretly electric fences. And here we are now, in the animal’s playing field. Instead of the concrete jungle we were there at the main watering hole, the natural gathering spot for these animals, the crater. Mountains surrounded us, but we could still see the beautifully fluffy, puffy white clouds, and despite the boundary lines created by the mountains, the plains seemed to roll on for days.
Animals naturally flock to the crater because it is the ideal location for hunting, sleeping, or traveling with the rest of the pack/group/school/pride. We were not going into an area created by humans for the amusement of tourists, we were actually going into the environment and weren’t apart of but rather observed the natural ways of things from the safety of a possibly bullet proof jeep. Even though the more adventurous, and rather child-like, part of my mind wanted to go and walk through the reserve with the animals and have the safari experience on foot, I am sure that wish would have quickly faded if the lioness came as close to me on foot as it did to our jeep. In fact, multiple animals came surprisingly close to us… Is it because they are curious? oblivious? hungry? or have they simply adapted to interaction with humans? If so what are the positive/negative affects? A few of us TGSers contemplated this and other topics at a round table discussion. I apologize in advance, we do get slightly off track, but I promise you we are able to tie everything together in the end, so if you would like to listen click here! If you would like to share your opinion or thoughts on the topic, please comment below! I would love to hear more perspectives! Also, the footage of the animals I was able to collect is below in a short video. It includes giraffes, baboons, elephants, antelopes, lions, and even one animal that gave us quite a surprise when we heard we would be able to see it! Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed having a safari experience!