Some final thoughts in closing out the South Africa trip posts… While the animals are fascinating, the country itself is beautiful. One thing seasoned travelers frequently notice is that when you go to a new region, it smells different. Usually the first impression is slightly unpleasant, but you quickly adjust and no longer notice. South Africa is the first place I’ve been that immediately smelled good. I associated the smell with good earth, the kind you could plant a good crop on.
Most of the animals we saw on our trip to South Africa are grazers. The Red-billed Oxpeckers on the back of this giraffe probably aren’t, although that’s what it looked like to me.
Most of the time photographing wildlife is done at some distance. Depending on the animal and the environment that may be as close as a few feet, but more likely twenty feet would be considered close and 50 to 300 feet not unreasonable. While most of the animals we photographed were free running on game preserves, there were some that were captive and allowed for closer shots. The male White Lion above is at Shambala and is fenced in at the owners property along with two females. They’re fed and cared for, but are certainly not pets. Their human interaction consists of being fed from a distance and being hopeful that one of those tasty looking photographers will fall into the enclosure.
I’ll admit to not being much of a bird watcher. I don’t generally look for them but once in a while one will catch my attention. On our trip to South Africa we couldn’t help but notice hundreds of different species.
Our latest travels took us to South Africa with the intention of getting some wildlife photographs. Although I’m fairly well travelled, this was the first time I’ve been on the African continent and I was looking forward to the trip. Our schedule included time at the private game farms of Ukutula and Shambala, as well as a visit to the Pilanesberg National Park and Game Reserve.