Round the world in 193 Days - The Kelly Lang Experience travel blog

Welcome to Buffel's Drift

Wild and crazy hippos

Elephant whispering

Everything seems to be in order from where I'm standing

Deep in thought

Lounging around. On a freakin elephant.

Giddy up!

Hello mouth close up

World Cup spirit

Into the wilderness

A lone springbok

Giraffe crossing

Dinner is served

Checking out the scene

"Who painted the stripes on that donkey, mom?" - the 3 year...

I like big butts and I cannot lie

Goodbye sun, hello cold

A white rhino feeding right outside our tent. All alone since he...

I awoke at 8:00am to a ghostly mist in front of my face. My breath was materializing right before my thanks to the temperature in the tent. I had to piss like a race horse but my survival instinct kept me from venturing outside the warm cocoon of blankets and sweats. Finally, around 9:15am, the sun came high enough in the sky to warm things up and I was finally free from my icy prison. Already dressed, Romi and I literally rolled out of bed and went to breakfast. No sooner had I digested the hearty homemade omelet than the fun began. First activity: feeding the elephants. Now this may seem only kind of cool at first glance, but it turned out to be an adventure of epic proportions. We started, naturally, by feeding the elephants. Feeding led to petting, petting led to getting hugged by one of the elephant’s trunks. It was not long before I got peer pressured into an arm wrestling match with the largest elephant there. What are the logistics of that, you ask? Well, the game is to hold the elephant’s trunk and try to keep him from pulling you across in front of him. As you might guessed I got tossed around like an 80lb. porn star. After my third attempt resulted in me partially taking flight and involuntarily squealing “ooooh sh*t!” I decided to hang it up. Next game – elephant soccer. The training these three creatures had was amazing. The guy would literally say, “Throw,” and they would pick up the ball with their trunk and toss it to you. When you kicked the ball to them, the guides didn’t even speak a command – the elephant would just kick it back to you (with authority I might add). After chasing the ball around for 15 minutes, I was worn out. To my surprise the elephant knelt down and offered me a seat on his knee. The manners on this guy, I tell ya. Finally, the guide said the words I was longing to hear all day. “Would you like to sit on top?” Without a pause, I obliged. The pictures Romi captured of that spectacle truly did the experience justice. The whole thing was elephantastic.

We did a quick lunch break where I ordered Bobotie for a second straight day and then prepared for our 3:00pm bush safari. My preparation consisted of sprawling out on a deck chair in the hot African sun and soaking in as much as I could. Before I knew it, it was once again go time.

Most guides start off a safari by telling you that there is always a chance you won’t see any wildlife since they cannot make the animals come out. Our guide did not give us any such excuse and after it was over, I knew why. He confidently navigated the huge expanse of over 300 hectares of wilderness and over the two hour tour he must have happened upon an animal group every 15 minutes without fail. I was amazed. My trusty camera spent little time in its holster as I brilliantly shot the moving animals. Elephants, hippos, zebras, springbok, kudu (which are similar to African deer), meercats, rabbits, and giraffes – we saw them all. The sun began to set as we drove back and all of my senses tingled with delight as I felt completely consumed by my surroundings. We made it back just as things began to get cold and then made the essential discovery of how to use the heating unit in our tent. We were in for a much more pleasant night.

Dinner was, as so many before it, award winning. I had some filleted salmon spiced to perfection and topped with avocado to warm up my palette and then followed it with a main of a ostrich sausage pasta that had such calculated seasonings and adornments that I could appreciate each one fully as the mixture sank into my tastebuds. We got out of there and headed back to the ranch. Our tent, now emanating heat, was a magical wonderland when juxtaposed to the harsh outdoor weather. I marched inside, shedding my sweater, shoes and socks. Last night’s fear of frostbite was now a distant memory. An hour later I found one of the more peaceful and dreamless sleeps that I have experienced since I’ve been here. In the eternal words of Ice Cube, "I gotta say it was a good day."

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