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Young Explorers: On Safari with Meg

Natural Selection
June 08, 2020

 

15 year old Meg recently returned from a family safari with her parents and brother. The family ventured to Jack’s Camp and Mapula Lodge in Botswana. Here’s what Meg has to say about the experience. Please don’t hesitate to send us stories from your own travels with us. We’d love to hear them.

It wasn’t just the safari animals that Meg came face to face with.

Just another day in Africa by Meg

 

Another Friday afternoon in a world where time or the day of the week is never thought of.

A place filled with hundreds of different types of animals, plants and hardly a single human being in sight. Another day in paradise.

Meg and her brother Josh acquaint themselves with the Okavango flora

 

We woke up to the sound of our guide knocking persistently on our front door.

Good morning”, he said in a calm but excited voice.

Excited about the journey ahead, we slotted into our well-practiced routine.

Bush clothes, brushed teeth, sunscreen, camera, hat and we were off.

Walking on a pathway that wound through the bush like a snake – scales made of wooden slats. We hopped into the car and were told the route of the day.

‘Today, we will be heading west, we drove through the east yesterday and my gut says west today,’ our guide stated with a warm smile that covered his face. He then pressed the ignition and we were off. The start of another African adventure.

Our bodies slid like jelly as we watched the contrast of red, yellow and pink dancing through the thick leaves of the Marula tree and the The Kalahari Apple Bush.

The vegetation began to open up into wide plains, filled with caramel coloured long grass. With Red Lechwe smelling the air inquisitively always alert to the dangers of the bush.

We saw hippos putting on a show for us with their loud grunts and yawns and giraffes sticking their black long tongues out to the furthest leaf. We then stopped and saw a leopard tortoise. I wanted to capture this moment of one of nature’s prehistoric animals crossing the road. I lay my poncho on the floor and did my best not to disturb the little guy, and zoomed in close with my camera lens.

Three quarters of the family with their guide Greg

 

As we started making our way back to the camp we realized that the sun had passed its zenith and the morning had already turned into afternoon. We then spotted three quad bikes standing on the most desolate, tranquil place on earth – the salt pans of the Makgadikgadi.

We quickly got out of the car and ran to the quad bikes. Our guide began to explain how to use them. I was so excited, I hardly even heard him, all I was thinking about was riding these quad bikes across the most amazing place on earth – the wide open salt pans.

Horse rides across the pans is one of the Makgadikgadi’s most captivating adventures

I jumped onto the quad bike, with the guide behind me. We took the lead with my family close on our tails. Driving through the bush past zebras, jackal and buck. Suddenly, there was nothing, no more bush, no more animals to be seen. Only salt pans stretching as far as the eye could see. We then stopped in a place that we call African silence. The only sounds we could hear were our breathing and our footsteps crunching the salt beneath us. As we stepped, we found spear heads lying on the salt pans that could be 500 years old or 25,000 years old. 

We all separated, with our sundowner drink in hand, and we walked across this ancient land, untouched by humans for centuries.

I was in my true happy place, a place with not a stress in the world, just pure silence.

Meg and Josh explore the African silence – an experience never to be forgotten