I was sitting in the back of the open air Land Rover, when the call went up, “Look a herd of buffalo!”. Instantly every head swivelled in the direction of the great creatures. As we drew nearer, the stench of the brutes graced us with its presence. Suddenly the heard was spooked and he buffaloes turned tail and ran, their hooves thumping against the ground, causing the earth to shake. My heart began to thump at the thought of maybe seeing a lion, but no predator was seen as the buffaloes careered off into the distance.
Slowly, we advanced down the bumpy dirt track, my back beginning to warn me of the oncoming barrage of bruises. However, persevered and this granted me the chance to see a bull elephant and its wife and child. The long trunk gave away its position in the nearby trees, as we drew nearer I pointed it out to the driver, who instantly stopped and warned us to be quiet as we did not want to frighten them. The massive bull elephant came so close to me I could have to it, the baby was cowering beneath its mother, its footprints almost twice the size of mine. At one moment the bull, showed its dominance slightly rearing in front of the car. An elephant may look like an old and harmless animal but like the hippopotamus the might of the elephant can not be mistaken for harmlessness. For a brief moment I experienced this might.
Next came the antelopes, gracefully hopping about in the hot of the Savannah, landing on the baked hot grass and kicking up dirt into the air. After watching the antelopes and gazelles with a few springboks in the background, the beauty of nature struck me and how simple it is sometimes. The birds chirping in the distance, everything so different but somehow coming together in harm in this moment.
As the experience was coming to an end my hopes of seeing one of the big four were also beginning to fade. After the driver said that a storm was brewing in the distance and would be upon us soon, my hopes were all but gone. Then the driver began the slow the car and whispered in my ear to look in the grass by the tree to my right. By that tree I would see one of nature’s most beautiful sights. A cheetah was lying there, in my view, nursing her cubs. It is sad to think that those cubs are most likely not going to survive to adulthood, this saddened me but to see them balanced this out. It was one of the best moments that I have ever experienced.
And as the lightning drew nearer and the safari began to come to an end and as I was about to retreat back into society, on the dirt path in front of us a lion slowly trudged back down the lane to its family, just as I was at that moment. It was as if I was meant to see all of this, just to admire its beauty in amazement. It really would be a shame if children were to grow up without knowing what and elephant or a lion was because they had gone extinct a few years before. Please help these animals today.