Most thrilling or scariest safari moment

Old Dec 7th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Most thrilling or scariest safari moment

I love reading everyones' trip reports and especially after reading aboutRuth's hippo incident it got me thinking that I would love to hear about particularly thrilling or scary experiences. I think we all know that being in the bush has some inherent risk to it but interesting first hand stories would be fun to hear...especially if there were no ill affects.
Mine was stepping on a Mozambique Spitting Cobra at Mombo. At first I was more interested in getting a few photos of it albeit blurry ones and then an hour later getting the heebie-jeebies when I realized the consequences if I had been tagged. Fortunately it was August and a bit cool so the snake had no interest in me and just as lucky it didn't spit. Normally I always wear sunglasses but wasn't during the encounter so doubly lucky.
Eric
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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aby
 
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WoW...
but, i'm sure your <b>eyelashes</b> would have blocked the venom spray ;-)
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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Hi Eric

Thank god you weren't tagged when you stepped on the cobra!!! I had a few close calls during my recent trip but you'll have to wait until I get to those parts in my trip report. One experience that stands out was at Duba Plains. I was filming, sitting on the floor of the vehicle. It was a tight spot so I couldn't really move and my face was sticking out of the vehicle about 75cm off the ground. I was so engrossed in filming through the eye-piece when all of a sudden a big male lion passed just 1 meter from my face at eye-level. He was so close that I could smell his breath. I just froze with many thoughts going through my mind. Luckily he didn't try to kiss me and went to join the rest of the pride!!!

Gaurang
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 07:27 AM
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Eyelaser,

Here's a thread to scare off people who are a little frightened to begin with about the idea of a safari! Maybe it's a good form of crowd control.

Your interest in photography might have been to your benefit. If you had started screaming, the snake might have been frightened and acted more aggressively.

Guarang,
What did his breath smell like?

My scariest moment involved no animals. I heard machine gun fire in the middle of the night at Mantana Camp in Kibale. I thought we were under attack. It was the rangers scaring the elephants away from the nearby village.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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I really don't want to put anyone off the idea of a safari. It will be very obvious that most of us have done this numerous times and the sense of the unknown and the adrenaline rush associated with things like mock or real elephant charges becomes a highlight of the trip. On the other hand, men with machine guns is really scary! The 4 legged, winged or finned animals are usually a bit more predictable than those who walk upright!
Eric
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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Lynn, put it this way - he hadn't brushed his teeth for a very long time. James007 was in hysterics - it was him that told me to sit on the floor in the first place &quot;to get better shots&quot;!! He was sure that I would be safe whereas my wife was trying to pull my head back into the vehicle. The camera was still rolling when this happened and James wants a copy of that scene. I can't let hime down, so I have to return to Duba one day
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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My most thrilling moment was on a walk at Mbuzi Mawe. Although quite far in the distance, we saw a lioness and her cubs, while on foot (full story is in my trip report: &quot;Ann's Adventures in Africa&quot
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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Eric,

Two experiences stand out.....thrilling and scary when you are chasing after hunting wild dogs on the trails of Botswana. I cant even describe the adrenaline rush....a collage of roller coaster meets discovery channel.....

Another experience similar to Gaurang's. I was on the seated on the floor of the truck stretched out( on the spare tires on the floor) a lioness inched closer and closer as she was looking for shade from the vehicle to rest. At one point, we made eye contact. She was merely inches away from me. Our guide started the engine and she fled off (He didnt want it to become a habit).

Hari
 
Old Dec 7th, 2006, 05:34 PM
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sorry for all the typos...

 
Old Dec 7th, 2006, 10:44 PM
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Typos? What typos? Never noticed them as I was too absorbed with the idea of your lion &quot;face off&quot;

Jim
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Old Dec 8th, 2006, 12:38 AM
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Two experiences come to mind. Both in Umfolozi.

First on one a 4 day walking trail. Camped in the bush (fairly basic), sitting round the fire after dark when an elephant bull walks right into the camp. We didnt notice him till he was about 50 feet away. The guide tried to scare it away but he was having none of it. The guide finally used a smoke grenade, which failed to go off. This resulted in a full charge (bear in mind the only source of light was a fire and a couple of torches) and a lot of trumpeting. The elephant got within 20 ft and then suddenly backed off. Spent a tense 30 min wondering if he'd be back.

Second one was the very next day when we came across a white rhino with a calf (on foot) about 200 ft away. The mother was nervous and we got behind a bush with the rhino slowly walking towards us. And then we noticed another nervous rhino with a calf behind us, about 200 ft away. The guide at this point sent the scout out to distract the rhino behind us while he dealt with the one in front.
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Old Dec 8th, 2006, 11:42 AM
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Yikes, some pretty close calls. I will mention one other in 2001. I was at Duba Plains with my son and on a full moon night our Land Rover got stuck in a muddy channel with over 1000 buffalo about 50 meters behind us and 12 lions 50 meters in front of us. The guide and tracker (Ciele and Rexson) had to get out of the vehicle and gather wood to put under the tires. It was getting darker and darker and the lions started inching closer. Twice the wood boards snapped requiring them to get out again and get more; it wasn't until the lions were about 25 meters away that we got enough traction to make our &quot;escape&quot;. I didn't realize that I had my video camera on the whole time but not shooting so I recorded the audio of the other passengers &quot;freaking out&quot;.
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Old Dec 8th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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Kenya in August. Lions all around. Following is link to video to lion who walks up and checks us out for dinner (&quot;They never jump in the vehicle&quot; &quot;There is a first time for everything&quot:

http://videoegg.com/video/hyVUr

Kevin from California

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Old Dec 8th, 2006, 03:58 PM
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Thanks for the video...did you get a release from the lions as they are the stars of &quot;Big Cat Diary&quot;
Eric
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Old Dec 8th, 2006, 09:17 PM
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We were driving along at Mombo and our guide had no idea there was a lone bull elephant behind a big bush right next to the road. The guide only saw him right as we were passing the bush and he jammed on the gas -- I was in the last row on the ele's side and basically had to dip my head inwards to miss the tusks. It happened so unexpectantly and fast that it really wasn't scary but was quite a thrill to be literally face to face with a big elephant.
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Old Dec 8th, 2006, 09:20 PM
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My husband and I found a warthog grazing beside our tent in the Tarangire. As we stood watching, it suddenly decided to charge us. It ran toward us, we stood our ground - much too frightened to move. Just before it reached us, it veered to its left and ran off. The incident left us with our pulses racing!!!
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Old Dec 8th, 2006, 11:31 PM
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My scary experience was in Chobe - we were on the river in an aluminium flat bottomed boat with an outboard engine. The idea was to watch the elephants drinking and bathing in the river - which we did without incident. Then the guide said he had seen some lions and did we want to see them? Of course we said yes, so he sped down the river and went past hippos and grazing waterbuck and then pulled up onto a sandy beach - nosing the boat up onto the bank. There, in front of us was a bush and two young male lions resting in the shade. They weren't interested in us, so we took some photos and then a crocodile appeared and was about two metres away from where I was sitting - he came half out of the water, looked slyly at us and then shut his eye. &quot;Never smile at a crocodile&quot; went through my mind and I noticed some blood on his tooth - feeling a little nervous at the proximity of this reptile, I fidgeted and then noticed some elephants behind us playing in the water, to the right were four hippos. They all seemed too close and we were vulnerable in that little boat, so I asked the guide if we could please go. He went to start the motor and it spluttered...and spluttered, then coughed and died. We suggested he use the pull cord instead of the starter motor, to which he replied he had left it in the car! No engine, hippos behind, elephants coming closer, a crocodile next to me and two lions under the bush. How could we escape? At that point I began to hyperventilate - thought of yoga breathing and prayed!! Casually the guide remarked that the battery terminals needed cleaning - so he pulled the cover off and after the longest five minutes of my life, he got the motor going. It sounded very sick and I felt very sick - but we moved off and after more hippo sightings as well as elephants coming too close to the boat, we finally got back to our departure point. Adrenaline rush? You bet!

Alison
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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&quot;Snakes...why did it have to be snakes!?&quot;

I was walking along the raised wooden walkway at Makalolo Plains camp in Zimbabwe. The clacking sound of my steps disturbed something below, so I peered over the edge to see a 6-foot gunmetal gray snake, hooded and slithering forward. I moved further down the walkway, then looked back to see it in a small tree right next to where I had just passed. From 6 feet away, I could see the yellow throat on it. I stood rigid, staring at it as it stared right back at me. Then, it crawled back down the tree and into the grass. At the main lodge, I looked it up in their reptile book...an Egyptian cobra. The camp manager was unconcerned until he heard that it was ON the walkway, thanks to that little tree. Do you suppose they cut down the tree?
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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This isn't animal related but.... it just HAS to be the moment I found out we were in Burundi instead of Rwanda - we had just gotten off a plane and were in the wron country!!!! The biggest jaw dropping moment of my life I have to say.

Imelda
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 07:17 PM
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Imelda, That is really funny...but I am sure it wasn't at the time.
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