African Safari - as it happens
How does Safari: you are put in an open car with no windows and the roof and carry the wild forest nature or national park. When on the road across animals, shuts guide the car and makes it possible to see animals in their natural habitat. It looks pretty dangerous, especially when driving up to the elephant, that begins to blow and carried in your direction. Or sit next to a lion when he is 2-3 meters, and close to a single trainer.
It is believed that predators do not take the car as a hypothetical production, and if you sit silently, leaning out of the car, then everything will be fine. Safari organizers, of course, guarantee complete safety, but the safety concept of the Africans very, very relative ...
In Botswana, we visited the water safari: we were put in a boat with a large deck where you can watch the crocodiles. In addition they met on the banks of buffaloes, giraffes, hippos, lions and warthogs. But now I want to focus more precisely on the device of the safari:
After the water safari we went deep into Botswana. We drove six hours car from the Zambian border. On the road was a small parking lot, where you can stop and go "in the bush". Or - in the African, - "in the baobabs":
Then we entered the forest, and another two hours sawed through it. African forest - rather meager and sad sight: a lonely stand of trees, a little yellow grass and a couple of bushes:
The transparency of the forest further emphasizes the dry season, during which all the trees shed their leaves. But the month of October for the journey was chosen on purpose: for the bare branches easier to see animals:
In the forest a lot of termite mounds:
we have not seen Samih termites - they live in the depths of their homes. The guide told us that often can be seen on termite mounds lions and various predators: they climb on solid projections of these hills, and seek out their victims from a high point:
Typical landscapes of Botswana:
The safaris were 8 people went to this car here. Out of it it was possible only after the guide to explore the area and give the command. Generally, from the guide it depends on many things, including the notorious African security. If, for example, accidentally put the car between the elephant and the elephant, it is guaranteed to lead to the fact that the elephant will turn and trample on the machine:
On safari we went every day for two times - first departure was at dawn, the second just before sunset. During these periods, the animals are active: Predators hunted herbivores eat and escape from predators, etc. In the afternoon comes the heat, and animals peacefully sleeping in the shade of stunted bushes... We also tried to sleep between trips, but sleep at +40 pretty hard:
In the forest is a long established roads on which we traveled and searched for animals:
to find representatives of African fauna, the guide stops the engine. We had time to watch and take pictures. Since we were in a normal forest, and not in the national park, you can move down the road and wade through the bushes in pursuit of a lion or a leopard on the trail. Guides often drove the car through virgin bushes to get to the animals as closely as possible:
The most troublesome animals were elephants: they are, at first, there were so many, and secondly, the African elephant is not so friendly and hand, as an Asian. They are very aggressive and constantly respond to the car with undisguised hostility:
Since the elephants do not see the difference between the road and the forest, we often rested on them on the way. I had to stop and wait until the elephant is gone. Elephants looked at us disapprovingly, and even began to throw several times.
Elephant attack as follows: it begins to clap ears, sniff, pipes and waving his head, warning of the impending attack. It can not go on - in this case, a collision can not be avoided for sure - but impossible to leave quickly because the elephant will rush after him. And he runs, as I said, not bad.
Come to growl in response to the ignition, that frightened the animal, and it receded:
But the leopards are not terrible, they could get close enough. Sometimes they threw on our company puzzled looks, but as a rule, it all came to an end, and (look at the pictures Leopard):
In Botswana, we lived in a tent in the woods. There is no fence around them was not, and all night long all around us someone grunted, growled, screamed, stomped, or rustling. In addition, the guides said that to leave the tent at night is dangerous: those who are very well, it was necessary to go out, blew his whistle, calling a companion.
According to the program in Botswana we have three camps had been planned, between which we had to travel on airplanes. Frankly, from six to eight people decided to leave the camp first, without waiting to discover the other two:
The discreet device our tents included two beds with linen. Through the zipper in the back wall could go to the "annex," where convenience has:
On the right shower - a bucket of water, a toilet on the left - a barrel of ashes. We spent two nights in the camp, almost no one slept all night listening to the rustling. My companion stayed two nights with nail scissors in hand in case of fights with leopards. Moreover, it should be noted, we spent the night in the dark so as not to attract animals. In the morning near the tents we found traces of hyenas, hippos and leopards.
On the second day we thanked our guides, saying that the experience gained enough and ordered the plane:
On the airplane once again looked to the African forest:
The narrow strips, like cracks in the dry land - this animal tracks to a dry watering:
And this is a city in Botswana, from where we flew back to South Africa:
After that we flew to Johannesburg and Sansiti - Local Las Vegas. Continuing the story of the safari:
In the last three days of our trip, we were reunited with the brave boys who remained in Botswana, and visited another safari in the Kruger Park - Nature Reserve on the border with Mozambique. There we arrived by plane, and, incidentally, the whole movement for Africa is mainly by air. Small aviation is well developed in the country.
The plane was a small, six seats:
But since we were seven, I flew in the cockpit:
In the latter camp had other conditions. We lived in the houses, and although there was no fence around the camp, the presence of the walls and the windows gave the assurance of safety. This bedroom:
Bath. On the street one can see the shower and private pool:
The office overlooking the forest. And most importantly - the lodge had air conditioning:
We traveled by car without a roof, but in the latter camp, we had a ranger with a gun and a local ranger, who was sitting on the hood and tried to discover traces of animals:
Once the traces are, they are both out of the car and went into the woods, leaving us alone for 15 minutes:
Animals, of course, are the same everywhere, but on this safari monitoring process was more comfortable for them:
Sometimes, as in Botswana, we made our way through the bushes - Ranger took out a machete and cut down the road in the bush:
One time we were chasing the lion and ran into a stone. Nearby was another car and pushed us safely on the road:
Landscape in South Africa was different from what we saw in Botswana:
Here we saw all Big Five: elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard:
One time we even allowed to get out of the car, in violation of all safety standards, and to remove from the bottom of hippos.
And this is the pursuit of a young lion. He has gone to someone else's territory for three local adult male decided to kill him. The young lion was already rather battered and scarred he ran first, followed by three others, and we followed by car.
One evening we have prepared "piano in the bushes" - a sudden corner of civilization and African hospitality. A mandatory component of the table - a gin and tonic, which according to legend, is considered to be an antidote to malaria: