Going to the safari baby!
The safari that we were heading to was called Aquila Game Reserve. It was located within the vicinity of Touws River, roughly two hours drive from Cape Town, making it the nearest safari to the city. Other safaris were a lot further away. Some even required flying on a small aircraft to get there.
Along the way we passed by beautiful vineyards that produced fine African wine.
We reached the safari slightly after 9am and were offered with welcome drinks. Later we were ushered to the coffee house where buffet breakfast was waiting.
We decided to eat at a picnic table outside as the view was really beautiful.
Little that we know that someone else was eyeing our food...
...and he decided to attack!
The peacock jumped onto our table and we ran away screaming! We were shocked out of our minds but everyone else thought it was funny, huh! Okay fine, it was actually funny. One guy wondered if the peacock was hungry, so he tried feeding the bird with some leftovers from my plate. True enough, the peacock finished it off and even bit the guy’s hand!
Fiza asked a safari staff if it was actually okay for us to feed the peacock with human food. Obviously we didn’t want our faces to appear on the front page of African newspapers with the headline “Two Malaysian girls sent behind bars for poisoning African wildlife with apple pie”. Fortunately the staff yes, we could feed the bird. Awesome!
Here birdie, let’s be friends okay?
The peacock wasn’t happy with small bites, he wanted to eat the big piece off my hand! I threw the pie on the floor and, again, ran away screaming!
We decided it was too “risky” to eat outdoors, so we continued our breakfast indoors. We saw our driver who apparently watched the entire scene from the coffee house. “You two are probably the only people in the world who have ever been attacked by a peacock!” he said. Well, perhaps we should apply for Guinness World Record!
In awe of the nature. Everywhere looked like postcard photos!
We then hopped on a big jeep to begin the safari adventure!
Ranger: What are the African big five?
All the adults in the jeep looked at each other. How on earth should we know? We were there to have fun looking at wild animals in their natural habitat and take pictures of them. Couldn’t care less whatever they may be, though it would be nice to see a lion or two. Suddenly behind me...
Boy: I know! Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino!
Ranger: Very good!
Gosh, the boy mustn’t be older than 8 y.o. and he knew the answer! I was impressed! Now that I knew what the big five were, I made a mental note how many of the big five we would able see along the ride.
Springboks – not big five.
Hippos – not big five.
Tortoises – definitely not big five, they were not even big.
Ostriches – big, but still not big five.
Elephants – finally, big five!
Zebras – very African, but not big five.
Rhinos – more big five!
I thought these were buffalos, but they weren’t. Couldn’t remember what they were.
The biggest species of antelope, which again, I couldn’t recall the exact name.
We passed by two guys on quad bikes. It sure looked fun to ride quad bikes around the reserve!
The jeep made a stop smack in the middle of the reserve so we could step out and enjoy the view.
The two guys on quad bikes joined us. I took the chance to test the bike, not!
Next, we entered this gated area...
...to wake up some sleepy heads.
Lions – big five alright!
On our way out of the lion’s den, we saw another jeep carrying Janet Hsieh (the host of Fun Taiwan and some other travel shows on Astro Travel & Living) and her TV crew members.
I first noticed her when we were at the coffee house earlier. They were the main witnesses of our little scene with the peacock as they were outside with their cameras and all. You might want to check out the next episode of their show, me and Fiza might be in it ;-) Hope you wouldn’t expect a nice shot though, as I doubted we looked vogue being attacked by a big blue bird!
We passed by an area where we saw different animals running and tousling with each other. It was like watching Animal Planet in real life!
Then we saw a buffalo – another big five!
We then exited the safari area (where animals roam freely) and headed to the cage area (where animals were kept in confinement). A quick check on the big five that we had seen – elephant, lion, rhino and buffalo. Just one more left – leopard.
Since the animals were locked up, we were allowed to go out and explore the area on foot.
Right in the middle, under a tree, we saw a couple of leopards – the last big five! Yeay!
Done with the safari, we returned to the main building to have buffet lunch.
Janet and her crew members were there too.
After lunch, we headed off to Karoo Ostrich Farm, several minutes drive away. The caretaker educated us about different types of ostriches, how fast they ran, food they ate and so on. I learned that when an ostrich faces a fight in the wild, it makes only one attack and it’s a killer attack. An ostrich can kill a lion just by one swing of his feet to the lion’s neck!
A full piece of ostrich skin.
Bought a cup of ostrich food and tried feeding the birds, though I was actually scared of them!
Big cactuses, some were taller than me.
Look at the size of the birds, how could we not be scared!
The farm also trained their birds for racing. These two were race ostriches.
Fed a cute baby springbok. The caretaker found her wandering alone in the desert and took her to the farm. She had lived there since.
Before leaving, we went to the farm’s gift shop, thinking of getting some ostrich leather products. My goodness, they were super expensive! A simple keychain the size of a coin cost ZAR 200 (RM 100)! Let’s not even talk about purses and handbags, even a small tote was selling at ZAR 5,000 (RM 2,500), what more a bigger one. We ended up buying ostrich feathers, which only cost ZAR 10 (RM 5) each ;-)
From the ostrich farm, the driver took us back to Cape Town. We reach the city in late afternoon. As we jumped off the van in front of hour hotel, the driver said “Bye bye, stay safe from birds!”
Hahaha! Bet we would!