On our day off (Thursday, December 3rd), a handful of us took the opportunity to take a day trip to a safari at Inverdoorn Game Reserve. I wanted to take the time to upload some pictures and add comments about some of the animals we saw
First on my list is the “big 5”: lions, elephant, cheetah (leopard), buffalo, rhino. Although the rhinos were hiding from us–due to the legalization of hunting rhinos in South Africa–we did get to see the other 4 “big 5”, shown below:
Although all of the animals on the reserve were rescued, the lions were rescused by Inverdoorn only a few years ago, from individuas who were raising them specifically to be killed by “the highest bider”. They were raised by humans from birth and given a special diet as to make them appear very large and dangerous. In reality, these lions (especially the females) are quite fat and overweight; this is ironic since they were not raised in the wild and are overweight, no longer making them hard to hunt. Due to being overfed in their previous living environment, these lions are now on a strict diet to help lose unnecessary weight. Unfortunately, since these animals have been raised by humans, they will never be able to live in the wild or raise their own cubs since they simply do not know how to function like other lions.
Throughout our safari, we came across many zebras and giraffes which was quite amazing to see! Here are some of my favorite pictures of them:
Towards the end of our journey, we had a once in a lifetime experience with a cute little elephant. Our jeep was driving down one of the roads when all of a sudden an elephant starting following us. In reality, this is actually fairly dangerous since the elephant could have charged at any point and pushed us off the road. However, we were able to turn down another road before this
happened. Interestinggly enough, though, the elephant was not interested in what we were doing but instead wanted to cool off in the water we were next to. We were able to watch the elephant take a nice swim and hydrate itself for a few minutes, before getting out, something that is fairly rare to see!
As our safari was winding down, our jeep unfortunately got stuck in the sand while our driver was attempting to drive up a little hill. We were all trying to push the jeep out of the sand for about 30-45 minutes in 100+ degree weather (I decided not to take pictures, mainly due to just focusing on getting unstuck) and were rescued by another jeep who came back to get us. Although we were all tired and a little frustrated with getting stuck, we decided to stop by the cheetah enclosure to get a pretty amazing view of the cheetahs relaxing under a tree. Here are some of the pictures I was able to get:
I will never forget this fun day and amazing experience; It was wonderful to see how happy these animals are in their new environment 🙂