Growing up, I used to sit at the dinner table eating my meals on a placemat with a map of the world on it just wondering what was out there. Every country looked like it was a lifetime away and life seemed limited to the clutter of states that made the USA. With no intentions of ever saving money to take the journey to the unknown, my job has blessed me with the opportunity to get paid to see these places. At long last, The Motherland! Never in a million years would I think that I would experience Africa and every bit of my stay was worth the trip. The largest check on my bucket list has been checked off and now I’m here to tell you all about it.
The mission on this trip was to make it either to the Apartheid Museum or a safari. Though it would have been nice to take a trip down history lane and learn about a pivotal piece of South Africa’s history, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see “wildlife” in Africa. My thought process was that I could always google history facts but nothing can replace seeing lions in the wild. Upon arriving to our hotel in Gauteng I was advised of a park called Lion & Safari Park by our concierge. My stay was only for 24 hours and I was due to report for my trip home early in the evening so I only took a half day tour on the safari. There were several other options that were more appealing to me but this was the most cooperative to my timeline. So it’s all set, I set a pick up at the hotel and the next morning I was picked up by a driver making my way to the safari. The drive to the park was very relaxing and revealing. Johannesburg is the economic capitol of South Africa and flourishes with business parks and All my life I had this ignorantvision that all of Africa was this huge jungle of huts and wildlife with no form of civilization. Most of that can be placed on our school system’s lack of proper teaching about other countries but ultimately it’s on us to gather our own knowledge and experience for ourselves what the rest of the world has to offer. But that’s another story…
The tour cost approx. $150 for the entire thing, which included transportation to and from the park, the safari tour, lion cub petting session, and a personal escort through the entire day. I’m a very frugal person at times but this was well worth every penny. Throughout the day I saw lions & wild dogs on the safari, feed a giraffe, pet a cheetah (yes, i did), and hung out with some lion cubs. This trip is highly recommended for all ages with the exception of the cheetah petting as they see babies and small children as prey. The Park has a very extensive selection of souvenirs ranging from magnets to plush toys to homemade fixtures for your collection.