We said goodbye to the Renault. It was time to get wild in Africa with the beasts.
Cape Town is infamous for its gigantic sharks. Gansbaai close by is known as the capital of Great White Sharks, and this is exactly where we would be going for shark cage diving with these fearsome apex predators.
We got an early morning start, trying to put down some breakfast over the nerves, a mixture of excitement and anxiety.
However once we got to the shark bay coast of Gansbaai , mostly excitement took over. It was time to don the wet suits and dive into shark infested water.
At first a Bronze shark appeared, followed by a Great White locally known as Nemo due to it’s relative small size and abnormally small fin on one side.
And then…….when I got in….it appeared. A massive 16 foot (5m) Great White, that looked like it could swallow two of me whole. The boat captain was shouting and urging to make sure no hands or feet were sticking out because due to its sheer size, touching its fins could break your arm or foot.
I was absolutely blown away by how colossal this magnificent beast was. The first two videos show it trying to get the bait.
And finally the apex predator catches its prey!
The adrenaline rush and pure awe you’re left feeling is something I would recommend everyone to try! Even if you’re afraid of sharks!
Next it was time for us to pack our bags and fly to Kruger National Park, for its famed Safari.
We had a lodge to ourselves within the park, which meant at night we could hear the Kruger and all that was moving and roaring within it. Not great when you’re sleeping alone and are paranoid about something coming inside……
As you can see, my room did not have windows, just grills, which made it very immersive.
Up and early next morning we got into our safari 4×4 for an adventure to find the famed beasts of Africa! The big 5. Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Rhino, Lions & Leopards.
Up first were some rather tall looking horses they call Giraffes here.
Some Wildebeasts and Zebras hanging out together
We were then very fortunate to come across some Rhinos. They are unfortunately poached for their horns as you know. For this reason these beautiful animals are extremely close to extinction. The rangers ask that if you see them you do not share the location within the park where you saw them in case the information ends up with poachers.
As they cross the streets, its very surprising to hear these tanks make absolutely no noise as their hooves touch the ground. Like ballet dancers.
We then went on to encounter another tank of the Kruger, arguably the most powerful animal in the entire continent. A bull Elephant.
All of a sudden, we found ourselves running into a territorial bull elephant that wanted a stand off against the 4×4. The ranger said we had to hold our ground and stay quiet. If we reversed back, he would keep following and chasing us until we were out of the park!
Apparently he’s a known trouble maker, but it was all show.
As we were driving along, we saw a herd of Impalas running away from something – driving towards this we just about manage to spot a Cheetah in the bushes with its kill.
This is where the drama starts. All of this noise attracted the attention of a lone Hyena.
Initially the Hyena was chased away by the Cheetah. However it returned and managed to overpower the Cheetah, stealing its food and leaving the Cheetah with nothing and exhausted. Potentially a death sentence for the Cheetah.
Our guide had told us that there were some Lions up ahead that were very close to the road, so we could get a really close up view of them. He told us that effectively most animals see the entire 4×4 including us in it as one huge animal, with the moving wheels the main focus.
However if we were to make too much noise or movement they would start focusing on us and see us in more clarity, for this reason we had to stay quiet and not move too aggressively. He then told us that if the lions make any noises or sudden moves , that we need to stay absolutely still and not freak out. Doing so could lead them to see us and jump in before we have a chance to move…….yep totally wasn’t nervous…….
And oh boy, were they close up……
We had a solid 3 nights in the Kruger and each day was unique with something different. Even the ranger in his 20 years had never seen a lone Hyena steal a Cheetah’s kill. Safari in the Kruger is definitely a very unique and special experience that I highly recommend doing! Its different each time!
Get a lodge in the park and BBQ in the wild!
Hope you all enjoyed this South Africa series!
Credits to Sharif, Sabrina and Susan for some of the pictures!