Out in Africa travel blog

Up early for our elephant back safari.

We arrived at the Victoria Falls Animal Reserve; 8500 acres of private reserved started in 1989 with 3 elephants. Two males and one female we're brought in and in 7 years there were 6 elephants. These elephants are now 39 years old.

We were fortunate to ride Boma, one of the original males. Jackie and Gary got to ride Tatu, the original female.

Paul was our leader guide, walking in front of us with a loaded rifle in case there was a wild animal attack!

Benjamin was our elephant trainer. He has worked with Doma since 1995.

Our 45 minute safari was just enough, Paul told us we would feel muscles we haven't felt in along time. He was right groin muscle ache and difficult to move when first getting off! Riding elephants was not scary like the camel ride was!

Many animal sitings in the reserve. Zebras and Impala were seen upon entering the reserve. Sitings during the ride were 2 giraffes, Kudu, Cape Buffalo and lots of large Vultures in the trees. Three small Warthogs arrived after we were finished. We did not get to see the rhinos with the new baby.

We got to interact with the elephant after the ride, feeding them elephant treats through their trunk, sitting on their knee and touching them. They feel very rough, like canvas!

They have beautiful long eyelashes. They have huge teeth. They actually grow new teeth after a set is worn down. They can grow up to 6 sets of teeth. If they lose the 6th set they will not be able to eat and will starve to death.

A most exciting morning!

Animal Facts: 1. Female elephant can mate at age 12; males age 35. There is no pleural

sac around their lungs but are attached to chest by muscle. They could suffocate if lying on their chest. 2. Male lions can copulate up to 100 times in 24 hours; yet they sleep 20 hours a day! 3. Cape Buffalo have a decreased immune system and only live about 20 years because they die from infections. 4. A group of Rhinos is called a CRASH!

After our elephant adventure we headed into town. Of course we found an ice cream store. This led to our first interesting encounter. As we were walking back to the hotel, a couple of baboons run across the street and then one parks himself on the grass in front of us. Just as I catch site of him, he is looking me directly in the eye and I know what he wants...as he jumps towards me, I throw the cone that immediately ends up in his hand and mouth! It was pretty scary! But Jackie had her camera and got an interesting after shot!

Our second encounter involved lunch and the English language. Who new it could be so hard to understand English (but then again we speak American)! We ordered pizza and drinks. A lady comes over and tells us the pizza machine is broken! Gary told her we needed the check, she told him cash only! Obviously not communicating. I told her we needed to know ow much to pay. All of a sudden the waiter comes with plates. We said we thought the pizza machine was broken! The pizza machine works, but the VISA machine doesn't!

Ali and Peter have arrived from Australia. Our group is now complete!

Tonight we had a fantastic sunset cruise! Hippos in the water, hippos coming out of the water! Elephants at the water. Ending with a beautiful sunset! Never have I seen a bright red sun and no other color in the sky! Verne and Jackie did not disappoint in their photo taking!

Our night ended with a light supper and laughter!

Jackie and I now say we really feel like we are "Out in Africa"!

Tomorrow morning we will have our first group activity together...CANOEING!

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