Thoughts and reflections from an African Safari

GA Hunter

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Here are a few thoughts I penned after a week back from from my first ever African safari a few years back. Not to be considered advice or for that matter useful in any way. These were just the memories that stood out to me after the fog and exhaustion of the travel cleared. Hopefully someone out there will enjoy them. Certainly some will relate.

Reflections and Observations from an African Safari
• The journey to Africa is long.
• Airplanes that have 300+ passengers on them for 18 hours smell bad.
• Proper medication is a necessity on such a long flight. (Thanks! You know who you are.)
• You must have a printed copy of your flight itinerary if you expect the South African Police to let you leave the airport with your firearms. Who would have guessed?
• People who wear camouflage on airplanes look dumb.
• The Intercontinental Hotel - OR Tambo at the Johannesburg airport is about as close as you can come to heaven after 24 hours of continuous travel.
• There are a lot of interesting people to see and meet in this hotel.
• I love Africa. A lot.
• The right Professional Hunter can make or break your Safari. Mine was exceptional.
• A kudu is a magnificent animal and darn hard to get close to.
• African animals are tough.
• A 375 H&H Magnum is a big gun. I wouldn’t call it a precision instrument. It’s more of a small sledge hammer type of tool.
• Never ever take anyone’s word that a rifle is sighted in. Check it yourself.
• African animals are BIG and HEAVY and seldom expire near a road.
• I do not enjoy carrying BIG and HEAVY animals up or down mountains or for that matter even on flat ground.
• Even the funniest joke will not prompt a laugh if the audience does not speak your language.
• A Zulu tracker that was born and raised in the bush can track an ant across concrete.
• Zulu trackers like chocolate.
• Rhinoceros are big and surprisingly nimble.
• Porcupine quills are sharp and pretty easy to find in the bush.
• Finding large leopard tracks in a very thick and remote place makes certain parts of my anatomy tighten up uncontrollably.
• Cape Buffalo are mean and nasty.
• Every tree and bush in Africa will stick you or poke you. Some will even make you violently ill.
• I think my Professional Hunter enjoys making me walk through these trees and bushes.
• Small warthogs look funny when they are running but make no mistake they all grow up to be ugly.
• When the drum that signals dinner sounds off for the third time in an hour and still no one goes to the serving area you are about to get a nasty look from at least one of the staff that has been up since 5 AM.
• I like the beer they have in Africa.
• Who am I kidding I like almost any beer.
• The journey home from Africa is bittersweet. You know you are headed to the comfort and sanctity of home and the ones you love but the memories of what you are leaving behind are still fresh and it is difficult to let your thoughts move on from the experience.
• I will go back to Africa many more times and I hope I can convince more of my friends and loved ones to share the experience. It is a wild and wondrous place and if you have the soul of an adventurer you simply should not pass this life without experiencing it firsthand.

BD
 

BRICKBURN

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The journey back from Africa is longer
 

Pheroze

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Very good writeup! Loved the description of a 375 H&H. Lol
 

Nyati

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Nothing but the truth !

Enjoyed it, thanks.
 

CAustin

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Well said sir!
 

PeteG

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• Every tree and bush in Africa will stick you or poke you. Some will even make you violently ill.
• I think my Professional Hunter enjoys making me walk through these trees and bushes.

You're supposed to go around them... not through or over them... :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

Some pretty honest and funny points there. (y)
 

Shootist43

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That was a great summary. I've never stayed at the International Hotel and I'll take your word for it that it was great. We stayed at the Afton House and I'll guarantee that I was as comfortable as you and probably for a lot less money.
 

Spooksar

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Great post my first safari to a T
 

edward

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rinehart0050

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So true. We can't wait to go back!
 

cpr0312

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Thanks for sharing! Lots of points that many of us experienced/agree with first hand.

I love Africa. A lot

This one ringing true for all of us!!
 

GA Hunter

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That was a great summary. I've never stayed at the International Hotel and I'll take your word for it that it was great. We stayed at the Afton House and I'll guarantee that I was as comfortable as you and probably for a lot less money.
The beauty of the Intercontinental is that when you walk through the exit door after picking up your guns you are looking at the hotel. But you are correct in that, it ain't cheap!!
 

Philip Glass

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We can all relate! So true about the Intercontinental. I am staying there this next trip. I used my points from staying in Holiday Inn Express many times to pay for it.
Regards,
Philip
 

rinehart0050

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The only point I'd disagree on is the Intercontinental!

We stayed at Africa Sky Guest House- cheaper than the Intercontinental and what a place! I can't imagine a much more relaxing setting to wind down and recover from a long flight or at the end of a long safari. And the customer service is impeccable. 5 min from the airport and they send their own shuttle to pick you up so you can avoid all the begging for money from alleged "baggage handlers."
 

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