gmhTODAY 06 gmhToday Jan Feb 2016 - Page 92

went on our first safari . As tourists we were instructed to remain in the tour vehicle . However , bathroom breaks out in bush country meant going off alone , which made me nervous , especially at sunset ! Our Land Rover had no roof or side walls , making me wonder which one of us would look most delicious to a predator . The Rover had plenty of room , making it easy to move around and take pictures without leaving the vehicle .

Without warning , our driver went offroad through bushes and rocks to stop a short distance from a herd of elephants . We also saw antelopes , giraffes , black rhinoceros and water buffalo . Except for the very young animals , the herds hardly seemed to notice us . I was startled at the first sight of predators near our vehicle , including leopards and lions . Especially since our tracker , who was referred to as the “ snack ”, was seated on the hood of the vehicle . He must have had nerves of steel ! Over the next four days we went on seven game drives and saw all of the “ big five ” mammals . One of my most memorable experiences was seeing four leopards stalking their prey , resting near a kill , and climbing trees . The big cats are quiet , stately and graceful animals .
We watched from our vehicle as several African elephants among a large herd began trumpeting and charging around , disturbed by the vibrations of large road crew trucks rumbling toward us . Leading the herd were enormous matrons , known for their ability to find water and feeding spots , followed by smaller bulls and juveniles from one to four years old . One juvenile lifted his trunk and charged at us but then ran for cover behind his mother !
On another drive we came across five “ bachelor ” Cape buffalo . These muddy , ornery beasts are reputed to be one of Africa ’ s most dangerous animals . As we watched , they clashed horns to determine who would be king of the mud hole . Apparently it ’ s their frequent clashes that
92
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2016 gmhtoday . com
went on our first safari. As tourists we were instructed to remain in the tour vehicle. However, bathroom breaks out in bush country meant going off alone, which made me nervous, especially at sunset! Our Land Rover had no roof or side walls, making me wonder which one of us would look most delicious to a predator. The Rover had plenty of room, making it easy to move around and take pictures without leaving the vehicle. Without warning, our driver went off- road through bushes and rocks to stop a short distance from a he &BbVWG2vR66rFVW2v&ffW2&6&6W&2BvFW"'VffW6WBf FRfW'Vr2FRW&G2&Fǐ6VVVBFF6RW2v27F'FVBBFPf'7B6vBb&VFF'2V"W"fV6R6VFrV&G2BƖ2W7V6ǐ66RW"G&6W"vv2&VfW'&VBF0FR( 66( v26VFVBFRBbFPfV6RRW7BfRBW'fW2b7FVVfW"FRWBfW"F2vRvVB6WfVvRG&fW2B6rbFR( &pff^( 2Rbג7BV&&PWW&V6W2v26VVrfW"V&G07FƶrFV"&W&W7FrV"@6Ɩ&rG&VW2FR&r6G2&RVWB7FFVǒBw&6VgV2vRvF6VBg&W"fV6R26WfW&g&6VWG2r&vRW&B&Vvt$( "$t( "4%DतT%dT%%T%#`G'VWFrB6&vr&VBF7GW&&V@'FRf'&F2b&vR&B7&WrG'V60'V&ƖrFv&BW2VFrFRW&BvW&PV&W2G&2vf"FV"&ƗGFfBvFW"BfVVFr7G2fvV@'6W"'V2BWfVW2g&RFfW"V'2BRWfVRƖgFVB2G'V氦B6&vVBBW2'WBFV&f"6fW &VB2FW"FW"G&fRvR6R7&72ffP( &6V.( 6R'VffFW6RVFG&W'&V7G2&R&WWFVBF&RR`g&6( 27BFvW&W222vPvF6VBFW66VB&2FFWFW&֖PvvVB&RrbFRVBR&VFǒN( 2FV"g&WVVB66W2F@vևFF6