Your First African "WILD" Animal Sighting

Old Sep 13th, 2006, 07:00 PM
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Your First African "WILD" Animal Sighting

After reading Kevin's (stakerk) trip report and his family's excitement over seeing their first wild animal, it brought back the thrill of seeing my first "WILD" animal in Africa. Here's my story, what's yours?
After a refueling stop in North Africa I told my travel companion to let me have the window now so I could see the elephants. He said, "you can't see elephants from 36,000 feet" I said elephants ARE big and maybe I could. So after it got light out, I looked out the window...NOTHING! Got to Johannisburg...NOTHING! Next morning flew to Lusaka, scanning the ground the whole way...NOTHING! (it was cloudy anyway so I blamed it on that). Got to Lusaka..."a wild animal! Look right over there", "NO, that's a stray cat." Flew from Lusaka to Mfuwe...NOTHING until coming in for the landing and there they were....scores of baboons lining the runway! I said "Look Monkeys"! So exciting and I don't think I ever smiled so big in my life!!
matnikstym is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 07:19 PM
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I think way back in 2001 in the Masai Mara, was giraffe. But, i'm even today impressed at every giraffe sighting...after 7 Africa visits in the bag....

Old Sep 13th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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I think my first wild animal was a giraffe as well, on the way to Tarangire. I remember seeing domesticated animals (a camel! a camel!) on the bus from Nairobi to Arusha, though, and thinking "OMG! I'm in Africa!"

And, yes, I do realize camels are not native to Kenya.
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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 07:33 PM
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I remember the excitement of seeing our first wildlife in Kenya as we drove to Amboseli. Our guide Peter would point out a dot on the horizon and say, "zebra" or "impala". Finally, we saw a giraffe next to the road...wonderful! One of our group saw a bunch of multi-colored animals in the distance and excitedly asked, "What are those!?" Our dignified guide replied, "Those would be cows!"
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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 09:55 PM
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I think Baboons at the Cape Natire Reserve, though we did get a fleeting view of an antelope, but I think the baboons came first.

I remember flying into Skukuza for our second trip to Mala Mala and DW had commandeered the window seat and she spotted Lions as we came into land, the guides wanted her to pinpoint the spot, but of course she had no idea where they were in relation to the airport.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 03:53 AM
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My first sighting was on the way to the Arusha hotel from the airport. It was dark out and after our long flight it seemed like it was really late. An animal crossed the road in front of us. It was a jackal! Our first official siting and we'd just gotten off the plane! Soon after another animal darted across the road...this was getting exciting. What was it? Just a house cat.
Oh well, one out of two ain't bad.
Now on the trip home a couple weeks ago my friend had an interesting sighting. We landed in Dakar,Senegal at 1 am for a crew change. The one hour turned into a looooooong nite in the terminal because of a hydrolic problem with the plane.
It was about 6 am when my friend took a (another) walk around the terminal. She was window shopping since the few shops there were closed for the nite. She came back and proudly reported she had seen a mouse scurrying around the shelves in one of the shops. So I told her "I guess you just had yourself another game drive!"

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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 03:58 AM
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Gekko in Westlands, Nairobi at the Rusty Nail Restaurant
Pumbavu is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2006, 04:20 AM
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Does a donkey on the side of the road count ? Hey, it was dark and I thought it was a zebra (same body shape, kinda)Our guide and husband had fits of laughter on that one and brought it up as often as they could thruout the trip.
Offical beast was a glorious giraffe.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 05:47 AM
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Our first wild animal sighting was Baboons as well. We were on our way to our lodge in Lake Manyara and there were tons of baboons along the road. We were very excited to see them!

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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 07:03 AM
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Driving from Victoria Falls airport to a lodge near Chobe, in a van full of strangers (tourmates). I see a giraffe on the side of the road - I was so excited I pointed and hollered "Animal! Animal!" Just couldn't wrap my head around the fact I was really seeing wildlife on the side of the paved road.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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I have told this elsewhere on the forum, but I first sighting was almost difficult to believe: it was our very first Safar (and our very first time to SA) after our flight from Europe and then on to Nelspruit we took a small plane to the airstrip of Tanda Tula. The vehicle with our ranger was waiting for us and after saying hello and charging the luggage, he said let me just show you something. We then turn to les than 100 m behind the airstrip and we saw under a tree (3 maters from the evhicle not more) 3 magnificant male lions (brothers we were told)with a buffolo that had been killed by the females the day before. We were just completely stunned, it looked like a set-up!(we also had not realized that you can approach the animals so closely)
It felt like Disneyland!! So this was not even 5 minutes after our arrival! Now who can beat this!??? Just amazing we think!
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 08:56 AM
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You win!!! Can't beat that for a first sighting.....WoW!!!

Old Sep 14th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Ours were in Tarangire, Tanzania--upon entering we saw zebra right away. We then proceeded to take 4 million (a low ballpark estimate) photos of said zebras. We oohed and ahhed over the zebras. We got out of the vehicle and did cartwheels of excitement over the zebras. Ok, that last sentence isn't true-- we did backflips ;-) . We were SO excited at our first REAL WILD ANIMAL.

Our guide waited patiently with a smile.

I was still excited by zebra sightings (and taking photos now and then) at the end of the safari but by then I understood why N. smiled so at our first sighting --there were zebra EVERYWHERE we went! Love 'em, though!
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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OK, I will cheat a little

I saw elephants at the orphanage, giraffes at the giraffe center and some impalas far in the distance driving into the Mara late at night.

But I knew I was in Africa the next morning when I zipped open my tents and saw three giraffes walking by on the other side of the river. That feeling will never quite be repeated.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 11:29 AM
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My first sighting was a giraffe. it was on the drive into Nairobi from the airport.

(At that point in time, I had NO idea that the animals were so close to town!)

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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 03:34 PM
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a glimpse of a dik dik on the way from the airport but the first delighted squeal was reserved for a giraffe.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 06:50 PM
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These are so entertaining and humorous. I'll be thinking "Animal, Animal" on my next sightings.

My first sighting: Giraffe in Nairobi National Park. Not long after that was a cheetah. Now that would be an impressive first animal. But still could not top Ivee's.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 07:01 PM
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As we landed on the airstrip in Lower Zambezi, I looked out the window, and saw baboons watching as we taxied in. After we piled into the jeep, we drove off and immediately encountered a large bull ellie who did not initially want to get out of the road. After a head shake or 2, he did, and disappeared instantly and quietly into the bush. How he did this amazed me. After getting to camp, we headed out on our first game drive (afternoon/evening), and about 10 minutes in, I actually spotted a leopard lounging around. We visited with her for about 1/2 an hour as she showed us all the typical cat poses. After viewing all kinds of wildlife, on our way back to camp, we found an aardvark that didn't actually run away and I was able to get a picture. This first drive set the bar so high, even though at that point we didn't really know how lucky we had been. We've been spoiled, but fortunately for us every safari keeps getting better and we have seen more and more unusual sightings as we go along!
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 07:03 PM
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My first animal sighting on safari...a bit humdrum now, but exciting then...was a warthog on the track from Mombo airstrip to camp. About the second was an elephant browsing on the bushes next to one of the tents. What was a great stroke of good luck, though, was seeing a cheetah chase and kill a reedbuck the very next morning and spend all day feeding on it (first safari, first full day, first kill )

afrigalah is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2006, 10:37 PM
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Wow!!! John, it's taken me 7 Africa trips to see my first Kill, the leopard killing nyala in South Africa.....

I ofcourse, have seen several feeding instances on prior trips.


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