Saturday, October 6, 2007

2-Day Safari; How To Be a Bad Houseguest

I'm adjusting well to living like a college student. Based on my most recent performance, I think being carefree and inconsiderate are starting to become second nature. I now feel qualified to offer the following advice:

Tip of the Day: How to Be a Bad Houseguest

1) Make vague plans to visit cousin who works as a guide at a game reserve in South Africa.

2) Ask him to drive 2 hours to pick you up late at night.

3) Forget to give him the address of where he should meet you.

4) Wait till an hour after agreed up on rendez-vous time to call him.

5) Make sure he and his driver don't get to bed till 1:30 (they have to get up at 7:00)

6) At breakfast the next morning, meet cousin's coworkers.

7) Sit at place set for game reserve owner's wife

8) Eat dish of food specially prepared for her.

The Safari

My cousin Matt is guide at Amakhala game reserve in South Africa. This is a small game reserve. The smaller size means you don't spend a lot of time driving around looking for animals -- you see them right away.

Day 1: Morning
After horrifying his coworkers with my breakfast performance, we get into a Land Rover driven by Matt. Ten minutes later, we are about 100 yards from a dozen or so giraffes.

We drive on for about 5 minutes and see at least a half dozen different types of antelope (wildebeast, hartebeast, sprinbok, kudu, impala, other deer like animals with crazy horns you wouldn't want to get impaled on.) (excuse spelling errors)

Day 1: Afternoon
Lions are in a special area of the reserve. We encounter a 400-pound male. His head is as large as a car tire. We are about 50 yards from him.

Day 2: Morning
After 15 minute drive, we see rhino, elephant, cape buffalo.

Day 2: Afternoon
We encounter male, female, and lion cubs. The are within 20 feet of LandRover. I start to get nervous. I wish I was bungee jumping.

Lions can be a little hard to find, expecially when they are feeding. (They hide in the brush with their kill.)

To make finding lions easier, the biologists at Randystravels have assembled this guide to sounds made by feeding lions:

"Hey, can you pass the salt?"

"Mom, is ok if I eat the watch?"