Saturday, March 5, 2011

Super Safari!

4:15 AM
This week we had an incredible opportunity to an African safari! I've been waiting for this all of outreach. And not only were we able to do a safari, but it was an overnight 2 day safari! We actually camped overnight in the park. Our safari was in Kruger National Park, which is the largest national park in the world, roughly the size of the country of Israel. It takes 18 hours just to drive from one end to the other! So obviously, we didn't go through the whole park, but we definitely covered a lot of ground. We started at 5am Monday morning, because early morning hours are prime lion time. While we didn't see lions that morning, we did see elephants, hippos, baboons, warthogs, monkeys, hyenas, and a rhino! It's one thing seeing these amazing creatures in a zoo, but in the wild, in their natural habitat is just breathtaking. It was late afternoon by the time we got settled into our camping spot. We got to stay in these incredible safari tents, complete with beds and refrigerators! But we didn't spend too much time in the tents, because after dinner we went on a night safari! The sky was lit up with stars I've never seen before and I was in awe. It was just so peaceful driving through this beautiful park in the cool of the night air. The first animals we saw on the night safari was a pride of 20 lions! They were just lounging on the street, stopping traffic from both ways. They didn't even seem fazed we were snapping pictures of them! It was mostly female lions and their babies, but we did see a male lion in the mix as well. We watched them for almost 10 minutes before they got tired of the road, and went back into the grass. It was SO exciting! We also saw hyenas, wildebeests, and elephants that night too. But nothing could top those lions! The next morning we started early again, totally hooked on seeing more lions. We didn't see lions, BUT we did almost get charged by 4 white rhinos in the middle of the street! They intensely stared us down, and started walking towards us. We backed up the vans and prayed they wouldn't get closer. Eventually, they tired of us and left us alone, but our hearts were racing by then. We also saw giraffes on Tuesday too! They are the most beautifully awkward creatures. We were watching them feed on some trees by the watering hole, when a few zebra wandered up as well! And then a few hippos pop up out of the watering hole and begin cooling themselves off. I felt like I was living in a movie. Later that afternoon we got a glimpse of more lions, 5 females on the hunt. We saw it's prey leaping out of sight. We also witnessed a herd of elephants and their babies crossing the street right in front of us as well. The momma elephants were being real protective of their babies, and thought our vans were a threat, but after a few minutes realized we were not, and they just continued on their own. But we saw about 30 elephants cross right in front of us. Wee saw so many elephants that by the end of our safari, we didn't even stop any more. It was wild. I was so blessed to see the wildness of God's creation. How He created these beautiful creatures to hunt and survive the way they do. It was the best 24 hours I ever spent in a car!

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!