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SOUTH AFRICA


We were lucky enough to stumble upon a six-month- old elephant, with its proud mum by its side





vehicle to the other desperately trying to make out a shape of any sort of animal in the distance, but it’s proving rather difficult as it’s about 7pm and pitch black. Heavy clearly has incredible eyesight, because he’s insistent that something is lurking not too far away. A few minutes of suspense pass and


Q


I eventually make out the figure of a mother rhino and her calf slowly making their way to the waterhole. I become completely transfixed as a crash of rhinos join the duo and the entire waterhole is surrounded by these prehistoric-looking creatures.


This mother and calf duo weren’t the only animals to stir a resounding “ahhhh” from the group because we were lucky enough to stumble upon a six- month-old elephant, with its proud mum by its side. It was my favourite sighting of the trip! I’ve ventured to South Africa for my first safari experience, with Sabi Sabi


uick, look over there,” says Heavy, our safari spotter. I scramble from one side of the


Private Game Reserve as my home during my stay.


I expected to catch a glimpse of a few safari regulars during my trip, but we hadn’t even got to the lodge and had already seen zebras, rhinos, elephants and impalas. I was in animal heaven and always on the lookout for our next spot. The reserve borders the Kruger


National Park and with more than 65,000 hectares of land – about the size of Singapore – and no fences between it and neighbouring reserves, the wildlife roams freely between them all. This area is renowned for being one of the best places to see the ‘big five’, and it also has the highest concentration of leopards in South Africa. This spotty cat was the talk of the town while I was staying here. Despite sightings from many members of staff at the reserve we hadn’t even caught a glimpse of this shy hunter, so on the last evening we set out on a mission to find one. Sadly the odds weren’t in our favour, but I guess that’s just an excuse to return in the future. Our guides, Eve and Heavy


TOP: The elusive leopard


CENTRE: Bush giant, the giraffe BOTTOM: Spotting a lion on a game drive


OPPOSITE: Mother and six-month-old calf


aspire march 2017 — 39


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