We took our trip to South Africa in October. We started in Los Angeles, California and it took us almost 24 hours to get there. Since South Africa is on the other side of the equator from the United States, their seasons are the opposites of ours. So when we got to South Africa it was the beginning of spring and just starting to get warmer. The rainy season had just begun so most of the plants were still brown with a little green.
We did our safari next to Kruger National Park in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. Both of these parks are about a one and a half hour flight from Johannesburg. During our 3 day safari, we went out in a modified truck with our guide and tracker 2 times a day. We went once in the morning just as the sun was rising and once in the evening right before sunset. These are the best times to see the animals since they are the most active.
On our safari our tracker would sit in the very front of the truck and look for signs of animals on the trails like footprints, animal droppings, or trampled grass. When our tracker spotted some of these signs, our guide would follow them to the animals. We were able to get pretty close to the animals without them running away because the animals were used to the trucks and knew that the trucks were not going to hurt them.
We were able to see elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, lions, leopards, hippos, giraffes, monkeys and many types of antelope and birds. It was really wonderful to be able to see the animals so close in their natural habitat and be able to watch them eat, rest, and play. Seeing them so close in their natural habitat showed us how amazing, beautiful and special these animals really are.
The next part of our journey took us to Cape Town South Africa where we visited Table Mountain and saw some Dassies, or Rock Hyrax. Even though Dassies are small their closest living relatives are elephants and sea cows! Near the end of our trip we also traveled to Betty's Bay where there was a penguin colony and we watched them swim to the shore and sun bathe.
Click on the little images below to learn about each of the animals we saw. Have fun!