We arrived yesterday at our safari destination - Wait a Little, named after an African tree with thorns which can snag the unwary, forcing you to 'wait a little' until you can unhook yourself - on the outskirts of the northern game reserves of South Africa.
After a lovely snack of tea and cake at 3:00 PM, we saddled up for our first ride out into the bush. ?Not long down the trail and after a few crossings of the same river, we saw part of the large elephant herd resident in the game preserve Wait a Little shares with few other safari operations. ?We were within 20 meters of a pair of bulls who foraged across the river. ?We all spoke in hushed, excited voices as we sat our amazingly relaxed horses.
After a delicious dinner we hit the sack, excited beyond belief for another day of such.
We were woken with baskets of treats and hot drinks at a quarter past six and were saddled and ready to ride by 7:00 AM. ?This morning brought us sightings of ?jackal, giraffe, wildebeest, impala, kudu, naya and many different exotic birds.
We spent a good half hour very close to part of the same group of elephants, including a (huge) bull, several cows and several juniors. We bunched up next to each other on our horses and stayed quiet and still. The elephants proceeded to destroy a small piece of forest, tearing down trees, munching away, and watching us. ?Our guide Philip taught us to read their body language; tail down and swinging means all is okay, tail straight or up, they're not happy with our presence. He also showed us how he uses body language (his and his horses') to communicate with the elephants [see video]. ?They got so used to us after a while, most of them fell asleep in the sun.
After spending so much time being still, we got to do a sporty canter [see video] up the trail. ?Way too much fun.