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An African #wildread

January 13, 2016

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(c) Arno Meintjes / Flickr [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

This month’s theme is #wildread.  The ultimate wild adventure is going on safari in Africa and seeing the big five in the wild.  Getting up at dawn to self-drive in Kruger National Park is amazing.  The thrill of discovering the animals yourself: coming across two giraffes pulling acacia leaves from a tree, waiting while a herd of wildebeest crosses the road in front of you and then following them to a watering hole.

Or if you’re brave enough how about walking with lions which is a unique and memorable  experience.  Accompanying lions in their natural habitat on foot for an hour and half was unforgettable. Or feeding animals: giving a bottle of milk to an orphaned elephant at an elephant sanctuary; letting a giraffe eat out of your hand – their long grey tongue feels like sandpaper.  Or  how about feeding an ostrich and then watching them run a race.

Seen Meerkat Manor?  How about seeing them in the wild which is absolutely magical.   Standing silently in line while waiting for it to be warm enough for them to emerge from their burrows.  Which they did, slowly one by one, each meerkat looking down the line at each of us.  When they had established that we were no threat to them we had the privilege of accompanying them as they foraged for food.

Or how about taking an early morning balloon trip over Sossusvlei in Namibia.  Watching the play of light on the sand dunes while flying over them was incredible.  Seeing an aerial view of the landscape and animals, mainly oryx was breathtaking.

Then there is the wild African weather – unpredictable and dramatic.   A sudden windstorm whipping up, as we were finishing our braai, blowing dust into our eyes.  Having to shelter under a bridge across the road, from hailstones the size of golf balls, while driving in Swaziland.

Why not share your ultimate wild experience during our live Twitter chat on Tuesday 26 January using the #wildread hashtag.

Monique Robertson (Surrey Libraries)

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