This was another special holiday as Mrs Wilbur and I visited South Africa in 2003. The main feature of our trip was a safari in Kruger National Park. We stayed at a rustic lodge called Akeru and no sooner had we arrived than we were off in search of the Big Five.
We met Ryan our guide and Sammy our tracker, but apart from the two guys we were to have the jeep to ourselves as more guests would not arrive until later.
After about thirty-minutes Sammy spotted lion tracks, so Ryan stopped the vehicle. The experienced trackers went off to spot where the pride were situated, taking their ‘never used before in danger situations rifles’ with them.
As we sat alone, we suddenly felt vulnerable. In the middle of the scrubland, on our own, defenceless and in the midst of lions. I eyed the keys hanging limply in the ignition and planned our emergency exit in case of need. We resorted to shrieking “Ryan, Ryan, Ryan” and were mightily relieved when the blonde haired Bok jogged back to see what the ‘problem’ was.
We went on to see lions, elephants and rhinos as well as zebra, giraffe, jackal, warthog, baboon antelope and much more besides. All very thrilling for us first-timers.