One of the biggest highlights on my South Africa trip was the visit to the Kruger National Park.
Or most would call it: Safari.
A tourist attraction Africa has long been famous for.
to see animals! in the wild! or be seen.
More correctly known, Kruger National Park is one of the biggest game reserves in South Africa.
And after three days in Cape Town, that's where we were heading to.
If you see a green patch on where the arrow is pointing, that, my friend, would be the safari I'd be living in for the next three days. ;) *leaping in joy*
There are two ways to get to Kruger National Park:
One is to drive. Which of course would take you 24 hours on the wheel according to google maps, which meant realistically, it would take 3 whole days of driving.
So we opted for the second, more sane, choice, which was to fly.
It wasn't anything fancy, bigger than a propeller, smaller than an Ikea truck.
But the ride would get us to our destination in two hours instead of two days.
And then we arrived in probably the most beautiful airport in the whole of South Africa.
Looks like a long house to me. A long house that houses a family of 9 generations.
(or known as "rumah panjang" - a sort of native house in Malaysia that's incredibly long and will be extended whenever a new family in the family is formed)
And because unlike a normal traveler, we don't travel like normal traveler do, we travel in style.
Instead of camping out in the park like most budget-limited backpacker would, we were sleeping in the Safari chalet/hut on the park.
Equipped with air-cond and attached toilet.
My "neighbour" Pete insisted to be loyal to his brand and hung Nestle Drumstick banner outside his hut.
I could already imagine, having a glass of wine sitting outside the porch at night underneath the eerie moonlight in the middle of one of the biggest safari in the middle of no where in South Africa, this has got to be the life.
Although it also made the whole werewolf myth much ghoulish to tell, thanks to the venue.
Instead of driving aimlessly around ourselves in our own rented cars, we were driven around by professional park guides in gateless jeeps.
You know how most safaris in other parts of South Africa have their jeeps fenced up for tourists because they would feed the animals, aka lions, through the jeep to lure the animals, well, not in Kruger Park.
It's a good move because then wild animals would not turn to human or jeep-looking creature to look for food, hence they would not be dependent on us, or attack us when hungry.
imagine all the good food on the truck.
This gave us a lot of room and "visuals" to being in a safari. The feeling, I can tell you, is really overwhelming, and scary at times.
Though sometimes the closest animal that would get to our jeep was a possum looking animal that looked half like a rat and half a meerkat (think Timon from Lion's King movie).
Then on top of that, we have professional rangers driving these jeeps to look for animals for us!
playing with a rifle bullet by the ranger... woooo...
A service that's not cheap when you're forking out of your own pocket.
I was pretty hyped about the entire idea of living in the safari together with the animals.
Especially wild animals I don't get to see everyday, and definitely not in the wild.
Animals that otherwise would consider endangered, dangerous or too wild to be standing in the wild outdoor side by side.
It was all set. I packed my bags. Got on the plane. And ready for another three days of adventure.
The only problem, now, was that...
That morning, before I got on the plane to Kruger,
I flipped open a local English newspaper at the airport and this was the first article that was shoved at my face.
Read: "...Suspected poacher devoured by lions in Kruger National Park."
First thing went through my mind:
Don't even pull the puppy dog eyes on me, missy.
I have my eyes on you. *two fingers eye to eye flipping back and front gesture*