I have fed large animals out of the palm of my hand and seen prowling cats just a few feet away, but all of this was with large fences and glass enclosures separating us. Though the experience is fun and admittedly cheaper, it can’t compare to the uniqueness of a safari. I like animals just fine, but I am not what you would call an animal lover. So you can imagine how surprised I was at how much I loved a day spent just driving around looking at animals. I have never experienced anything like it.
We hadn’t planned on going on a safari while we were in Zambia, but everyone there was adamant that this was not to be missed. And really, how could we pass that up? We crossed the border of Zambia and entered Botswana where we headed to Chobe National Park. We were only able to do a day safari, but it was one of the most memorable parts of our trip.
We did a river safari in the morning and a game drive in the afternoon. Never in my life have I seen so many animals. The river especially, was teeming with life. We saw crocodiles, hippos, water buffalo, warthogs, huge iguanas (which we mistaked for a snake swimming next to our boat and Ben nearly jumped out of his seat!), antelope, elephants and so much more. Both of us thought that you would spend most of the time driving around and occasionally see animals, but we would barely go two or three minutes and there would be another group of animals. It was astonishing.
The river safari was Ben’s favorite, but mine was without a doubt the game drive. We saw hundreds and hundreds of monkeys and I have to say that they were probably some of the cutest animals I have ever seen. I could have fit some of them in the palm of my hand. It seemed that around every turn there were fifty more monkeys and to my surprise 20-30 elephants. The elephants were my favorite part. We saw well over 200 and it was just incredible. We saw little baby elephants lying in the road and huge male elephants that towered above our jeep.
At one point we turned a corner and the jeep came to an abrupt stop. The road was blocked by elephants and to our right there was a massive female elephant. She kept inching closer until she was only an arm’s length away. I am normally a pretty fearful person, but I had to resist the urge to reach out and touch her trunk. She got so close that the Japanese man behind me actually cried out! He scooted across the seat until he was practically sitting on the lap of the girl sitting next to him. Ben and I along with the girl got a pretty good laugh at that.
The day was filled with the most amazing discoveries. Seeing God’s creation literally EVERYWHERE was incredible. I don’t know quite how to explain it, but it just left you speechless. Up close like that you just see how everything works together. The elephants, giraffes, monkeys, antelope, and warthogs all stick together and watch out for each other. It was like watching the live production of Lion King…well, minus the lions! The shere number of animals we saw was amazing, but we didn’t see any cats which was a bit disappointing. I guess that just gives us an excuse to go on another one! Seriously though, this was one of the most memorable days of my life. I am now completely addicted to safaris. So who is going to be joining me and Ben on our next one?!!