A wildlife safari is a holiday like no other. It is a real opportunity to catch your breath and get back in step with the rhythm of Mother Earth. It brings one back in touch with nature and nature in its most primal form at that. While we have all been exposed to African animals picture form, it is a very poor substitute for the real thing! It is not until you are up close that you can get a proper sense of some of Africa’s amazing creatures, for example just how enormous an elephant can be! Nor can you imagine just how silent they are – one minute you are gazing at the nearby bush when suddenly a gargantuan creature materialises out of the greenery noiselessly discarding a cloak of invisibility. My heart nearly stopped when this happened to me, the enormous male elephant then proceeded to raise his trunk to within a few inches of my hat! Thankfully, after a few heart-stopping moments, he decided that I was friend rather than foe! Having been well schooled in how to behave in the presence of wildlife, I knew to stay still and since the guide knew this to be a very laid-back elephant (notwithstanding that he was in musth ie awash with testosterone, which can render some rather cranky and aggressive) there was no real sense of panic (apart from my frantically beating heart, the pounding of which I hoped would not disturb the silence!) I never had any ambitions to see the dramatic incidents upon which television programs like to concentrate. Indeed, while I fully recognize that everything must eat to live, I have hoped that during our regular wildlife safaris to be spared the more dramatic events like a kill (of any sort). To date I have been very lucky in that I was witness to only one kill, when with my heart in my mouth, I saw a pride of lions strategize to take down a wildebeest. It was over almost before it began and the wildebeest (which is brainless anyway) didn’t even know what happened. Within 12 hours there was only a patch of blood where there was previously a creature with a heartbeat! On reflection it was quite amazing experience in that, unlike some humans, the kill was not for pleasure, but arose out of a need to survive and the “victim” was killed in the quickest most efficient way possible – perhaps we humans could learn from the animals. Apart from the animals, wildlife safari accommodation can be very luxurious even though it is located in the middle of nowhere! However partly because it is in the middle of nowhere and partly because wildlife safari camps tend to provide all inclusive, small and intimate accommodation, that luxury tends to come at a cost which is more expensive that say a beach resort holiday. The very best thing about a wildlife safari is that it is filled with wonder delivering a surprise around just about every corner. It is the wildlife that sets the agenda and they are indeed wild – although usually sufficiently acclimatized to game vehicles to ignore them and get on with their normal life. Better that than to have animals that are so unaccustomed to vehicles, they disappear on their approach – there is little fascination in a wildlife safari which is limited to a series of disappearing rear-ends! But be warned wildlife safaris are nothing short of addictive – there are few who return from a wildlife safari without the desire to return!