Alright people, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a whole lot of outrageous stories from the South African wild.
Seriously, tie yourself to your chair, it´s about to get craaazy!
(***Disclaimer: I never drop f boms…it´s really not my style, but on this post, you betcha I will!)
Hippo Kisses / Meeting Jessica
I have no words for this experience other than, hollyshit-I´ve-pet,-fed-AND-kissed-the-one-and-only-tame-hippopotamus-in-the-world !!! (I´m catching my breath here!) Her skin is rougher than it looks, but kissing her wet nose and fuzzy whiskers was beyond exhilarating!
Jessica was found swimming aimlessly during a flood with her umbilical cord still attached to her. She was born prematurely, most likely due to her mother´s stress from the flood; Jessica was raised by the same couple who found her. Today she´s 15 years old and from her domesticated environment, Jessica is only a 3 kilometer swim away from her wild friends, other hippos.
First Lion Encounter
Ok, let me say that one more time: first lion encounter!!!
You´ve seen it on the discovery channel perhaps, but nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, will ever compare to what it´s like to see, with your own eyes, this enormous, majestic and powerful creature in the wild. Their enormous paws, their penetrating eyes, and the way their roars make the ground vibrate with unexplainable force, simply left me without words. I will never forget the sound of their roars, its so strong! They truly and rightfully are the kings of the jungle.
On that specific safari drive, I had no idea I would seeing my first lion, honestly, a giraffe would have done it for me, but when our safari guide pulled up right next to this male lion my heart stopped. So what did I do? What any sane person in the world would have done, take a fucking selfie.
Seeing the South African Sunset for the First Time
Imagine arriving into a new, exotic country, and unexpectedly having a giraffe pop up in the road in front of you, curiously looking at you from high above. Then you continue driving and you find your first white rhino, and a few buffalos... My day is already made, I´m already beyond overwhelmed, when all of a sudden, boom! I find yourself under this pink/purple sky, sipping wine in the calmness of the wild bush! - Pinch me!!! Is this real? Did all that seriously just happen?
Meeting South African Penguins
I have never heard anyone in my life say “I´m going to South Africa to see the penguins!!” In fact, most people don´t even know there are penguins here. But yes, there are… and so many of them! Seeing the multitude that I saw was amazing. They run around with their wide, short legs almost bouncing side to side. I couldn’t help it want to run after one just to feel its fluffiness, but apparently that´s forbidden, god knows why! :p Super cool birds – AND did you know that once a penguin finds its partner they will mate for life? (Aww)
Shark-Diving and Dolphin Watching
Do I need to say more???
It was the most thrilling/adrenaline-rush experience of my life!!! The water was about 59 degrees Fahrenheit (aka. Freezing!!!) but who cares? If the hungry, 5-meter white-sharks were not stopping me from jumping into the cage and underwater, nothing else would. The whole time my heart was pumping wild and my blood was dancing, it was just beyond words. Would I do it again? Hell yes!!!
And as if this wasn´t enough, on our way back to town we spotted dozens of migrating dolphins swimming wild ... okay, okay, you get it, I´m pumped about the whole experience. Definitely one of the top, most thrilling moments of my life.
We did our expedition with Shark Explorers, not far from Cape Town... the guys there are beyond professional, so knowledgable and helpful. I could not have had a better experience. Woooo!!!!
Warthogs in the House
Hakuna Matata! The first time this guy and his friends came to my house, they didn´t just come to the front door, they expected to get passed it and into my living-room! Can you possibly imagine chasing those things out of the house? I was amazed at how friendly they were. Their skin is pretty rough and they scratch their faces and butts against the bricks. You aren´t supposed to feed the wildlife, but this guy and its friends surely had been spoiled before... I will confess, I did not help the situation, they do go crazy for fresh pears and bananas! But who can blame me? Having warthogs as pets??? Just too cool. The one on the photo behind me was the naughtiest, and he pushed me once with his nose demanding more food. Naughty guy! But I absolutely loved their visits.
Thank you South Africa!
Colombian, living and traveling the world (well- not so much at the moment) I am currently sharing my time between San Diego, CA and Albuquerque, NM.