Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Safari dissected

The South African bush - with its wild animals, wide open skies, soothing crickets, melodic birdsong, interesting plant life, amazing sunsets, equally amazing sunrises, ancient trees, wilderness, and other nature-y things that go together with the bush - is pretty awesome.

Well worth visiting. Two thumbs up and other assorted fingers, if not limbs too. Should be on everyone's bucket list. At least as a one day aside while taking a pause from the world-famous Cape Wine Route.

Definitely something to see and experience.

But, as with most things, there are some details that never make it to the brochures, but that really should be talked about and acknowledged.

About the underbelly of the bush.

Yup. The murky side the safari website will never ever mention. What lies beneath the dinner  underneath the sky watching the sunset while zebra and antelope graze. The other side of seeing a majestic elephant care for its young coin. The unmentionable beneath a sundowner accompanied by lion-growls. The downside to the elusive leopard making an appearance. The ugly truth about the baby rhino.

The wilderness about the wild.

Be warned: There might be some quite graphic images that might shock you. Some serious stuff. Of animals. So yah, be warned, or at least sort of cautious, or something in that vein. And bear in mind that this post might bring down the entire safari-industry. Singlehandedly.

I just can't let these secrets be.

What no one ever talks about:
  • When you order wine as your sundowner for the evening game drive the ranger brings along a whole bottle of excellent South African Sauvignon Blanc just for you, real wine glasses, and he will serve you with a smile until the bottle runs dry. This will really fok with your picture taking ability.

  • Every lunch menu includes 3 tasty courses, and every dinner menu 4 scrumptious courses executed by the best chef in KwaZulu Natal. There will be things on the menu you never even thought about trying, but find that you just lurve, lurve, and lurve. This will really fok with your ability to drink all of that special selection vintage wine you ordered.

  • There's a baby rhino that desperately wants to take a bath in the swimming pool. You get to pet a wild 180 kg rhino and play with it while its handler radios for reinforcement, something that most people never, apart from zoo keepers, get to do, and well, you'll never be one. This will really fok with your drunken nap by the pool. 

  • When you tell the ranger and tracker that you don't even know what a genet is they will find three live specimen for you on a specially organized night drive. You will have plenty of time to admire this elusive nocturnal most people never get to see. This will seriously fok with your drinking wine at the lodge bar. Or at home on your own couch for that matter.

  • There is a bathtub with jets in your room and it overlooks the watering hole where the elephants like to hang out. You will be able to get a bazillion elephant photos from the privacy of your own bathroom. This will really fok with your grip on the wineglass since it will be essential to keep the camera above water. However, a little bubbles in the wine are fine. They are organic after all

  • You will be waited on hand and foot, everyone will remember your name, they'll constantly want to know if there is anything more they can do for you, and even before you have the sense to ask they're already headed your way with a bottle of your favorite wine. This will really make going to the toilet feel like an inconvenience because for that you actually have to get up. 

There you have it. The sheer horror. Makes you never want to go back. All you do is look at animals all day long, drink coffee and wine, eat superbly well, have interesting discussions with the game reserve owner who saved the animals in the Baghdad zoo, and everywhere you point your camera there's something to shoot.

Just makes you groan.


Stephanie said...

Sounds marvelous.

MissBuckle said...

So jealous.

An Open Heart said...

Bravo! What a cool trip.


--r said...

Glad you survived the hardships.

Optimistic Pessimist said...

wow thanks for the shocking expose of the safari industry.

Myne Whitman said...

LOL @ the irony. Can't wait to go myself.

Kitty Moore said...

Both informative and entertaining - glad I dropped by!

CrazyCris said...

I'm signing up asap! :p

Cham said...

Oo, I want to shoot things, too!

(with the camera, of course)

tattytiara said...

I want to go pack now.

kristine said...

are you kidding me? that food, in particular. are you kidding me.