Friday, December 13, 2013

My first and last safari

The above picture is taken on our way to a safari lodge, 2 hours away from Cape Town. There is still a lot of poverty in South Africa. The areas where people live in huts are huge. A possibility to get work is surely a lodge, also a safari lodge.

The landscape in South Africa is most beautiful. One can see wild animals, monkeys i.e. I had no picture left in my camera when we saw a monkey family next to the street on our way back.  All 200 pictures were taken during the safari. 

We arrived at 12am at the lodge. First lunch was offered in form of a buffet. As everywhere people take from everything as much as they can and as fast as they can as soon as it's allowed to touch the food. After 5 min of opening the buffet, the dessert was already attacked. 

At 1:30pm the safari started. Most people go in the morning. Many stay also overnight there. We went during the hot time. We sat in a van that could carry 20 people, yet we were less. 
When the driver opened the door to the safari area he stopped and told us that we shouldn't be disappointed if we didn't see the big animals. 

Yet we saw them all. I was not mistrustful. I was fascinated: 

To get so close to all these animals without a bar between us was amazing. We had signed before the safari that the organisation is not responsible for anything that can happen, not even for our death. They wouldn't do the tour if it wasn't safe. 

Then we stopped again and our driver pointed at a little lion next to the road. We all took our cameras and click click. It was said that lions sleep 20 hours a day and it's hot, too. I still believed it.

At the end of the tour cold Champagne was offered in Champagne glasses in the middle of this meager landscape. It was hot. I felt sweaty and perhaps a bit dusty, too. Yes, it felt good to gulp down this cold bubble water, yes, it is decadent. 

Then yesterday night I had published this lion on Facebook and a friend asked if it was sedated. I was less than a meter close to that wild animal. The lion scarcly opened the eyes, any movements seemed to be too much. I know now that the lion was sedated half death, so that it's safe for the visitors. 
The same with the rhinos below.
I don't need such photographic 'trophys'. I was naive. I could have been a bit more mistrustful, yet I wasn't.

I prefer to see animals wild. This is not possible during a safari. I know now that it would have been much better if I hadn't seen an animal at all. Perhaps a field mouse or a little bird, yes, but wild animals don't search the closeness to us human beings. This was my first and last safari, that started with curiosity and ended with me being sad. 

Next time I publish self-portraits again. No harm is done then. 

Instead of offering tours where one shows  half death animals one could offer meditation classes or yoga classes. One could paint or dance. Reading is fun, too in such a beautiful surrounding. 

PS: My latest news from people who live in SA for more than 5 years is that the animals in that safari lodge are not sedated. They are indeed tired like hell. It can be dangerous to be there when the weather is cooler and when they are hungry and when th driver gets to close to them. 


Kitharo said...

Wow, I didn't think about animals being sedated on safaris, but it makes sense. It's one of those things you realize later, I'd never have thought about that.

How sad that we humans think animals are our slaves... but don't be too hard on yourself, now you (we) know better.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip and forget about this horrible treatment soon.


Ursula Preiss said...

Yes, we've learned something.

Today we go to the wine country, sedating ourselves, at least a little bit. The difference is that it is voluntarily.....

Cordially greetings....

Anna said...

Yes, the lion looks as if it's in a coma! No way would you be able to stand next to a sleeping lion. It's sad.

Ursula Preiss said...

I heared that they don't sedate them. They shall really sleep that much. I'm not sure.