The chill of the early morning air on your arms and legs is invigorating and too soon will they be heated by the sun as it bakes the bush. An early morning walk, before the heat of the day sets in, is a glorious adventure into territory not often tread by man and exceptionally well known by its inhabitants. Man is certainly at a disadvantage and this thought keeps the nerves singing, the muscles in your body ready for fight or flight and provides a heady mixture of exhilaration and adrenaline.
It is essential to have a guide when walking in Big Five territory or even in any territory that has dangerous animals. The Big Five comprises of the king of the veld being the lion, the tremendous bulk of the elephant, the mysterious leopard, the temperamental black rhino and the herds of buffalo or even the lone dagga boy, a solitary mud-spattered buffalo bull. These animals were considered the most dangerous African animals to pursue by the early hunters and thus were named The Big Five. Today, the majority of visitors to South Africa are more interested in sharing their time with these animals and enjoying the wonder of their existence. Hunting is still available, however, visitors would need to locate specific farms where hunting is allowed.
A guided bush walk brings you right into the arms of Mother Nature, the scent of the sand as it heats, the crunch of leaves and twigs under your boot, your eyes scanning the bush for movement. A bush walk also affords the visitor the opportunity of getting to know the finer aspects of the bush. It is during walks like these that trees can be identified and their medicinal properties explained, there is time to inspect the ground for spoor and allow the story of a scuffle to be dramatised, white rhino and black rhino middens can be differentiated between and many stories can be shared about adventures past.
You can step out of the big city of Cape Town, a short way out of Camps Bay, and take a drive of one to two hours where you will find game farms in the African bush - some even boasting The Big Five. It may be a good idea to spend a night or two in a luxury tent or beautifully thatched lodge to really experience what the bush offers you before taking a scenic drive back to the gorgeous beaches of Camps Bay and the sizzle of our Mother City, Cape Town.
Or, if you are looking for a great day's outing from your base, a game farm or game reserve is a super way to spend the day out on the wild side!
Lekker Local Tips:
* Tick bites can be irritatingly itchy and in some cases, ticks may carry tick bite fever, an easily treated but rather uncomfortable illness. Prevention is certainly better than cure and a good tick repellent can stave off the itches when rubbed onto exposed parts of your body and sprayed onto your clothing.
* Avoid wearing bright coloured clothing in the bus, rather opt for neutral or earthy tones. If you don't stick out like a sore thumb in the bush, you are likely to get closer to the animals!
* A great suggestion is to keep a pair of binoculars and your camera close at hand at all times. Closer inspection of animals and birds helps to correctly identify them and taking that exceptional photo is a great way to make a memory when a super photographic opportunity presents itself.
For a home base from which to mount any guided bushwalks in Cape Town go to - Cape Town Guest House