Going on Safari-1st drive out

There can be no doubt that the highlight of our trip to South Africa was our safari experience.

That is not to diminish the beauty of the the other areas we explored but to come face to face with with the beings who freely roam the reserve, is an opportunity of a lifetime & one we will never forget.

Shamwari provided us with an up close & personal experience, often finding ourselves within such close proximity, we could have reached out & touched the animals we were viewing.

We did not, for one of the things we loved about Shamwari was the very strict guidelines with respect to protection of flora & fauna on the reserve.

As we set out for our first game drive, we were met with a fairly substantial downpour of rain.  These are the kind of unpredictable moments in travel where you can either allow the situation to cause you stress or you can opt to just go with it.

K & I exchanged a mutual shrug of the shoulders, a kind of an “oh well, we’re going to get wet” look & added a few more layers.  We were in Africa afterall, living out a dream we had dreamed of for some time.  No amount of rain was going to dampen our spirits.

We had barely made it out of the drive before seeing some giraffes loping across the road. They are such interesting creatures to watch, almost dinosaur like in their size.

Clouds rolling in.

Clouds rolling in.

Love how this giraffe looked against the darkening sky.

Love how this giraffe looked against the darkening sky.

Moving further into the reserve, we kept our eyes peeled for any wildlife. Clearly our ranger was much more adept at doing this than we were as we would have passed right by this beautiful creature without even realizing she was there!


At the outset of a safari experience, guests are given a run down of dos & don’ts, both for the protection of the people in the vehicle, but also for the protection of the animals who call Shamwari home.  One of those instructions was to try to refrain from gasping or shouting when spotting an animal, thus sending them fleeing in fright. This can prove more challenging than one would think.

It was difficult to suppress startles of surprise as we rounded the corner & came to a halting stop to allow our friends to cross.

Giving our friends, the white rhinos, the right of way.

Giving our friends, the white rhinos, the right of way.

Oh, hey!

Oh, hey!

Receiving word through the radio from a fellow ranger of a sighting of the eldest male lion on the reserve, we opted to make our way to that area in the hopes of getting a glimpse of this beautiful guy.

It surprised me how camoflauged he was, sitting contently in the rain.   With his colouring, he quite easily blended into his surroundings, seeming very uninterested in us as we approached.


Having a snooze in the rain

It was only when he gave his mane a good shake that he really took any notice of us at all, most likely because we were interupting his nap!

After giving his mane a shake.

After giving his mane a shake.

Moving along, we ran into these two, leisurely grazing on the land.  Mom & baby went about their grazing, as we sat quietly taking in their movement, giving us an opportunity to snap a few pictures, before they moved on.


I’m coming Mama!

Squeals of delight were difficult to control when we came across this baby giraffe.  Our ranger estimated him to be not more than a few months old as he still had his umbilical cord hanging from him.  If you look closely, you may be able to spot it in the 2nd picture.



Standing with Mama gives you a little better idea of his size.

Imagine our surprise when we came upon this rear end, quietly lolling along the road! Elephants are such fascinating creatures to observe.  It was surprising to learn how very quiet they are as they move through the bush.  With the exception of the snapping & cracking of branches, one would never know they were there.



Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly see more than we had seen that evening, we had one last sighting before heading back.

If my memory serves me correctly, I believe these two cheetahs were mother & son.

There are simply no words to describe the feeling of coming face to face with any one of the animals we came across that first night.  To have the opportunity to sit quietly & observe them in their natural habitat truly left us in awe & at times, absolutely speechless.



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61 Responses to Going on Safari-1st drive out

  1. Ally Bean says:

    Beautiful photos. I love the baby giraffe. So odd to think that you saw these “zoo” animals in the wild, but glad that you did. And that you took your camera with you!

  2. Fabulous photography! I don’t know what this says about me, but the hind shot of the mama and baby rhinos appeals to me most! Though they are all terrific.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow, that is such an incredible experience! The pictures are stunning – you were really up close and personal. Love, love the baby giraffe.

  4. Great job on the pictures!

  5. Sue Slaght says:

    Lynn I could barely control my gasping just looking at the photos! Oh my goodness these are incredible! What a wonderful post to read as we get ready to head on our way. Loved it!!

  6. you have given me the Africa bug…..thanks for sharing these beautiful photos…

  7. Amazing photos! That truly would be a trip of a lifetime – and I hope my lifetime will include an adventure like that too. It’s hard to understand why anyone would wish these creatures harm. Fortunately, they are safe while within the confines of the reserve.

    • Lynn says:

      You are too kind! I have dreamed of this adventure for many years, to have experienced with my grown daughter let my heart overflowing. I would highly recommend this destination! Incredible & beautiful & most certainly, memorable beyond words!

  8. Al says:

    Fantastic, Lynn! Your photos are top rate and this looks like a terrific trip. Thanks for sharing with us.

  9. What beautiful photos, Lynn. I can imagine what a wonderful experience that was.

  10. Heyjude says:

    Lovely photos Lynn. There is nothing like that first sight of a wild animal in its natural habitat is there? OK there are on reserves, but at least free to roam and hunt as nature intended. My favourite is the “does my bum look big…” shots of the rhino mum and baby followed by your lion – how wonderful to catch him staring straight at you – perhaps he was thinking of lunch? If you visit Africa again you might want to check out Namibia and the Etosha park – that is fabulous.

    • Lynn says:

      Jude, those bum shots are some of my favourites as well. I found the lions fascinating, I could have just sat there for hours watching him, among others we saw over the few days. I would love to return some day to explore more of Africa, I will definitely keep your suggestions in the hopes I have the opportunity to visit again!

  11. Martha says:

    Lynn!! What an incredible experience! Your photos completely reflect the adventure you both shared…not only have I dreamed of a trip like this, but like you, I would love to experience Africa with my daughter💜. Thanks for sharing, and inspiring!

    • Lynn says:

      Awe, thank you girlfriend! This is absolutely something you & your beautiful daughter should do together! So appreciate your encouraging words my friend😘

  12. Donna says:

    African Safari is definitely on my bucket list. Thank you for sharing these brilliant photos!

  13. Jodi says:

    Holy Swooning Wowza! What an amazing experience!!!!! Oh the baby giraffe…. Stole my heart – especially shown next to mamma! Oh I loved every single photo in this post. How lucky for you to experience this and thank you for sharing!!

    • Lynn says:

      Jodi, both my daughter & I could barely contain ourselves when we spotted this little fellow. We then watched him run out to his Mama & his cuteness overload tipped the scales! They both stood there for some time, allowing us to catch a few good shots of them. So sweet!

    • Lynn says:

      Jodi, was over visiting you this morning, reading your beautiful words but for some reason your comment box does not seem to appear on that post.

      • Jodi says:

        Thanks Lynn. I turned comments off on this one just for personal reasons. Thanks for your thoughts. Much appreciated.

  14. Joanne Sisco says:

    Fantastic photos!! I got to relive my long-ago safari reading this post. I still get goosebumps! Each photo could easily be a favourite, but I have to go back to the face of the Lion King. He is regal, majestic, and has an off-the-chart cool factor 🙂

    • Lynn says:

      Joanne, it is one of those experiences that I think will forever stay with us. I have a few more pics to come, including a few more male lions. They truly are so majestic with their big manes. Love your description of being-off-the-chart cool!

  15. Jeff Bell says:

    Going on safari in Africa was probably the highlight of all my travels It is an incredible experience. You got to see Cheetahs! Nice.

  16. pegoleg says:

    What great shots! This sounds like a bucket list trip for sure.

  17. Ann Coleman says:

    I would love to go on a trip like that some day! Thanks for sharing these photos.

  18. restlessjo says:

    Incredible captures, Lynn! The best kind- where no harm is done 🙂 I can just imagine Sue squealing as she looked at these 🙂 The giraffes, the lion shaking his head at you… fabulous!

  19. Jane says:

    Stunning photos….hard to pick a favourite, but I do love the giraffe against the darkening sky. One day soon, I hope to follow in your footsteps!

  20. George says:

    Amazing photos, Lynn. I think this is the kind of trip and experience that really has to be seen first hand to appreciate the complete beauty of these animals and their surroundings. Gorgeous.

    • Lynn says:

      George, it is so difficult to describe the impact of this trip. To come face to face with these incredible beings is an experience that will forever stay with me.

  21. LB says:

    Lynn, what an incredible experience.
    Another friend just got back from Kenya and shared images of some of the same animals. I cannot imagine the thrill of seeing these creatures in their own habitat.
    So very happy for you, and for me because I get to hear about it from you 🙂

    • Lynn says:

      Laurie, I suspect anyone who has ever had the opportunity to have this experience would agree it is absolutely incredible. Lovely to hear from you my friend.

  22. When I saw your comment on Sue Slaght’s blog, I just had to pop by to take a look at yours, Lynn. What a lovely surprise! I’ll never forget my first African safari – it’s one of a most magical experiences of my life. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your posts. 🙂

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    • Lynn says:

      Susan, welcome & thank you so much for taking the time to pop over for a read. This experience was absolutely as you describe, magical! So lovely to meet you here!

  23. dfolstad58 says:

    Love this post, you obviously had an amazing day and taking home memories you will think of for many years to come.

  24. Brings back wonderful childhood memories for me. The first thing we learnt as young kids growing up in Africa and going on safaris quite often, was immense respect for wildlife and therefore not disturbing them in their habitat was crucial!

    You certainly got some excellent sightings and equally good photos. Beautiful!


    • Lynn says:

      Peta, I imagine your childhood memories hold so many incredible stories. We were blown away at the beauty of this place & its occupants!

  25. momshieb says:

    Incredible photos, Lynn! Thank you for sharing!

  26. Cheryl Marsh says:


    Cheryl Marsh


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