For the past few days and I nights I have been staying at the And Beyond Safaris Luxury Ngala Game Reserve thanks to the South Africa Tourism board and I have been going on multiple Safaris. Six in total to be exact. As cliché as it sounds I have been DYING to go on an African Safari since I was a little kid and now thanks to these awesome guys those dreams have come true!

What I’ve experienced these past few days was more than I ever could of expected in my wildest dreams. From the awesome accommodations to the food, the amazing Rangers, Trekkers and hotel staff to the pure experience of seeing some magnificent animals in the wild. If “Going on a Safari in South Africa” sits anywhere on your bucket list you should immediately move it to the very top and plan a trip here as soon as possible. No matter your age, an experience like this is one that is out of this world and everyone should have at least once in their life if possible.

I’ll go into detail about the Safari’s when I have more time to write but first I wanted to share with all of you something new that I was excited to learn about. In Africa there are five animals which are known as “the Big Five”. Said to be the five most dangerous animals to hunt on foot these five are now also the “must see” animals when on Safari. Through out our 6 safaris we searched and searched for them and I almost gave up hope on a couple of them… and then we checked them all off the list and so many more!!

Here are some of my favourite photos of the Big Five as seen in the Ngala Game Reserve, part of Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Of all the elephants we saw, this guy had to be the cutest. About a year old he was not happy with our presence. He was constantly trumpeting (or trying too) and fake charging at us. He was so adorable. (Video to come.)

 

Not the most exciting animal this is a Cape Buffalo not to be confused with its bovine relative the water buffalo. This is an older Cape Buffalo separated from the big herd as he can no longer keep up. These guys are said to possibly be the most dangerous of the Big Five as they will give chase and are often surprisingly reported as being the biggest cause of death each year over any other animal in the country. Watch out for those horns!

The elusive leopard. We were giving up hope of seeing any Leopards, but by the time we left Ngala we had seen not one, not two but three leopards! This photo is of a young male about a year old sitting in a tree with an Impala his mother killed and carried up there. He surprisingly didn’t seem to have a care in the world about us or anything else. Gorgeous animal. I love the color of their eyes.

The lioness. We came across her just as the sun was setting so my photos didnt come up that great but it was an awesome experience. As the sun set she let out low moans, that we learned was a call to other lions and then we followed her down the road as she went in search of them and some food. We had hoped to see a male lion but no cigar.

 

This guy was the last of the big five to be founded and he was very cool.For safety reasons I’m not calling it by its real name but it was the coolest thing in the world! So agile and light on their feet too.

 

Check back often to find more stories from my travels to South Africa and check out their Facebook page to win your very own trip for two here as well! (Sorry this is only open to Canada and the US).

Photographed with a Nikon D5100 and 55-200mm lens.

Thanks to South Africa Tourism for having me to South Africa. All views and opinions are my own.