Following my previous arrival to the National Kruger Park in South Africa, despite the new's report of an bitten to death poacher by lions, we arrived safely and have separately checked in to our respective villas on the campus.
Kruger Park is designed in such a way that if you're living nearby, you're welcomed to drive in everyday at certain designated hours to roam the safari/park in your own car.
As long as you stick to the road, a few simple rules (like don't run down animals); you do not necessary need a guide to bring you around the whole safari.
Thing is, what fun would it be if you don't stay in the park, live the park and smell the safari-ness of your surroundings, and to wake up every morning at 3am just to drive out to view sunrise like this,
Or even to walk the bushes on feet, feel the wilderness under your soles.
It's essential to have a guide, in my opinion, if you're not much of an animal spotter (see that little shadow hiding in the bush?) and you have limited days in Kruger Park.
It's not always every time there's animals to be spotted.
More often than not it really depends on how experienced your guide is in tracking down these animals, his network to his fellow colleagues on the walkie-talkie, and of course, your dumb luck.
oh yea. try having a lioness stumbled onto your road every time you want to see one.
And keep in mind that this is the wild, and there will be times you don't see a spec for hours on end.
But so what, enjoy being there, under the moonlight, the vastness of the wilderness out there.
It's the safari for god's sake!
You never know, you might run into something on your way back to the campus at night.
It also makes spotting a big animal once in a while even more rewarding.
Afterall, you only get to see it here in South Africa or we're only ever gonna watch it on Lion's King movie.
Simba I love you!
It's an enthralling emotion every day.
I'd always knew I would visit the safari one day.
It's like that inking feeling in you that you knew one day you would do something you always wanted to do in this lifetime, because it's part of your dream and also because you can't really afford to achieve that dream right this moment.
It's always the case, isn't it? The thought: perhaps one day in the distant future, when you're able, financially and time wise, you would take the time off and head out there to explore.
And then that one day came when Nestle Drumstick stepped in and fulfilled my dream, I know it's a cheesy line but hey, it's true.
If it weren't for them, no way I'd be standing here, experiencing the most highlighted moment in my life, pinching myself every two hours that I wasn't dreaming. That I was really there!
Whilst still in my twenties!
To be there and then, exploring the wild and seeking adventure beyond every layer of bush, to be close to these big animals that might not exist in the next few generations.
To be seeing this!
So close that I could almost touch them, and yet if I do, partial of my limb would probably be detached physically.
Watching wild and endangered species coming out in view in silence.
(Black Rhinoceros is critically endangered and might not last till our next generation)
The experience made me wanna weep.
(Though I was actually screaming instead of crying)
I even remember this time we spotted a giant spider, bigger than the size of both my palms combined, spewing its web in the bush on one of our bush walk.
The webs were so strong you could flick a finger on it and it would merely twiddle, like a guitar string.
I have studied some of these animals, not extensively, just merely scratching the surface, for as long as I have been aware of helping to keep our endangered animals alive.
You simply could not imagine the excitement and joy in my heart when I was placed next to them. Some of these animals are larger than life, could have easily stomped me to death in one beat, and yet they are threatened by human race to extinction.
Endangered or not. I am thankful. To be placed in nature's beauty while they roam freely around me. To be in the generation while animals are still in existence. To be there.
South Africa is truly beautiful.
(enchanting if not)
Even on the last day, I was reluctant to leave. It's not easy to depart from all these and return to the jungle city life I know back in KL.
But one day I will be back. I know it.
Till then, I would keep these memories alive in me.
Goodbye South Africa.