Two Days Experiencing the Wild Animals of South Africa

Recently while on vacation in South Africa I booked a two-day, one-night organized tour that ended up being one of the highlights of my trip.

The driver picked me up at my hostel in Cape Town at 7am, and after picking up a few more people we had a van filled with myself and six other travelers from different parts of the world. The scene was set for a great couple of days with new and interesting people.

Our first stop was an ostrich farm, where in addition to getting to hand (and mouth) feed the giant birds, I got to ride one! Ever since I was a kid and saw Swiss Family Robinson, I’ve always wanted to do this, and the experience didn’t let me down!

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Yep, just like in the movies!

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Ever had an ostrich eat food that’s clamped between your lips?

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The ole reach around. When an ostrich wants food, he gets food.

After the ostrich farm we went to the Cango Wildlife Ranch, which is like an interactive zoo of sorts. When the guided tour was finished I was able to pet a cheetah! Seeing the world’s fastest land animal up close and hearing him purr when I pet his head was pretty unbelievable.

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Crocodiles are probably the most gnarly and terrifying animals on the planet. If you zoom in and look close you can see the piece of meat that the tour guide dropped into the mouth of this crock.

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It ain’t easy being cheesy.

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After seeing and photographing this leopard, I think I found a new favorite animal. Absolutely beautiful…

We had some long drives through the Garden Route that were insanely beautiful, and at the end of the evening our group had a good time hanging out around a fire at our hostel.

The second morning of the trip started out with a stop at a place where we got to ride elephants and hand feed them fruits and vegetables. Once again, the opportunity to get so close and personal with such a unique animal proved to be really exciting.

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Just getting in some overhead squats with an elephant head… No big deal. #CrossFit

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Ever seen the inside of an elephant’s mouth? Trunk up! Open wide!

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I shot this one while sitting on the back of an elephant as it drank water from the lake.

The final stop of the trip was the safari-like game drive on a private game reserve. For about two hours we drove around in the back of a truck looking at animals, including four of Africa’s “Big Five”. We spotted an elephant, a heard of buffalo, two rhinos, and a few lions…the cheetah was hiding, so we didn’t see him.

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Cruisin’.

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Zebras.

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A long neck, and long tongue make it possible for this guy to reach food on the top shelf.

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Lions are some of the laziest animals out there, so catching one mid-yawn isn’t too difficult, but you can always lie and say that it was in the middle of a ferocious roar.

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Putting the GoPro to good use.

After another beautiful drive through stunning countryside we found ourselves back in Cape Town where everyone said their goodbyes and I put an end to another incredible adventure in a new country.

Thanks to Hotspots2C for the awesome trip!

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Off to the next adventure…