Journeying on a Safari was surprisingly not on the top of my list when planning for my roadtrip across the Garden Route in South Africa. For my travel buddy Jen it was a high priority along with Shark Cage Diving. I of course obliged mainly because who doesn’t like animals, and secondly because she agreed to bungee jump with me. What I didn’t expect was how much I would enjoy the safari and how it would amaze me so to see such incredible wild animals.
Schotia Private Game Reserve has been ran by the same family for around 25 years and are dedicated to a true safari experience. They are about 45 minutes away from Port Elizabeth which was at the tail end of our road trip. We opted for the two day one night package at Schotia Farms which cost around $250 a piece. We stayed in a “Honeymoon suite” which was more akin to “glamping”. We had a super comfortable bed with a tent surrounding it ensuring that no bugs were making it in to disrupt our sleep. They even provided a nice bottle of red wine which we were unfortunately too sleepy to drink.
On the first day we arrived around 2 in the evening and got to head straight to our Safari. Our park ranger happened to be a super intelligent *cough hot cough* 20 something who’s dog Janga was his partner in crime. One of our first animals to see was the elephant, who could have cared less about us and instead was more concerned about the rough bush he was intent on eating.
Our Ranger made sure everyone in our group got to see all the animals we so desired. This included the white rhino. As you can see the Rhino’s horn is not fully grown. This was due to a poacher who drugged the rhinos and cut off their horns. The saddest part is the rhino horn is used to cure many ailments which has been scientifically proven to be completely false. Meaning these innocent animals are tortured for a myth.
After the Rhino’s we headed off to see what else we could find. We saw giraffe, zebra’s and African antelope (my way of saying I don’t remember their names). The Giraffe was a mother of twins who according to a ranger did not actually care about her babies. This was not her first set of babies and she didn’t mind if they got eaten by a lion. A big fan of the circle of life I suppose.
Steve the Lion
Right as the sun was setting we found the lions. Steve the alpha with the beautiful ombre, his lioness, and his son are all pictured below. The lioness was on the hunt that night looking for some dinner for Steve and Simba. The rangers were actually at a point that they were worried about Steve since you could see his ribs and he hadn’t eaten in several weeks.
We sat there for at least 20 minutes watching the sun set while the lion pack soaked up the last bit of the sun. The lions didn’t seem to mind nor care that we were only yards away. Steve yawned, Simba laid next to his father and the lioness paced back and forth looking for a possible hunt to feed her family.
That night after a delicious all inclusive dinner we searched all night looking for the lioness on the hunt. Our ranger Ryan knew she was out hunting and was hoping to catch her in the act. Unfortunately cold and tired we went to bed unsure whether the lioness was successful in feeding her pack.
During our morning drive Ryan quickly found Steve and his lionesses bounty. See in the Lion kingdom the lioness hunts for her pack and then the male gets the first pick. We found the lioness and her son eating the leftover tail a few yards away. Seems like a raw deal to me but I guess that’s just the feminist in me talking
After a delicious hot breakfast and a ride back to the main center we headed off to Addo Elephant Sanctuary. Now this is something both Jen and I really wanted to do. Unfortunately this means we did not heed the advice of others. The sanctuary is beautiful and a really great experience, however it is much different than the safari. The sanctuary is toured in a van versus an uncovered safari vehicle. We still got to see some beautiful elephants and even a lion however I wouldn’t suggest doing it the way we did. If you do not have time for the Safari I suggest the elephant park as you can drive your own car through and take your time. However if you are doing the Safari I would not necessarily suggest doing Addo since you can see elephants at Schotia.
Despite all this I was still able to get some amazing shots of some beautiful animals.