Snakes are my biggest fear. Therefore it would make sense for my scariest experience to be when I was going to the toilet and a little green snake appeared by my ankles, causing me to wake the entire campsite up with my scream. However, this isn’t the time that I will tell you about.
While I was in South Africa, there were plenty of animals that made me feel uncomfortable and worried, especially when they got too close. However, there were 2 times on the trip where my heart was in my throat and I feel as if I should mention both of these, as they were terrifying for me.
Scariest Experience Number 1 – Buffalo
Yes, I found buffalo to be terrifying! You may think that they’re a little bit creepy but rather fascinating creatures, and I do not deny that. However, when you come across a herd of buffalo in the dark, they suddenly become devil animals! All of their scars are highlighted and their helmet looks like a big pitchfork but worse! Just seeing these animals is enough to make me shiver.
I did more then just see them though. Both of my experiences happened on the same night (how unfortunate) and between the times of 12am and 3am. We had an emergency lion call up (lions were darted and transported, its typically done at night as it is safer and more comfortable for them) so we had to drive pretty damn fast to get to where we needed to be, so we could introduce these lions.
We were driving safely, but also not stopping for our usual sites since we were in a rush, however, before we could comprehend, we were in the middle of a herd of buffalo.
As said previously, buffalo are super scary in the dark, but they’re petrifying when they come charging at the side of the vehicle! We were moving, and the buffalo didn’t even touch the car, but watching this big bull of an ox swish its head and run is enough to make a big man have goose bumps.
It didn’t help that it being a safari truck, the back where I was sitting was open!
Scariest Experience Number 2 – Lions
I suppose this scary experience makes a little more sense compared to the buffalo one. Lions are predators; they’re huge and smelly and scary.
Due to the situation that I was in, I cannot divulge all that happened at the lion call up, but I can say that being so close to those lions had me shaking. I was on the other side of the fence, and I even made it to door duty (which, looking back on, I can’t for the life of me, figure out why I volunteered).
While on door duty, it was my job to allow the vehicles in and out of the area quickly, and to ensure there were no lions near the door while I did this. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Wrong! The fence was amplified to be 9 amps, which meant nothing to me until I accidentally touched it.
The electric shock went from my high (where I touched the electricity) to my hands (which were holding the metal fence) and I honestly had never felt more awake then I did in that moment. Knowing that there were lions on the other side of the fence while I recover from a major electric shock, was terrifying – and probably one of the reasons why I went to bed shaking that night!
Although I had encountered charging elephants, roaring lions and prowling cheetahs, I wouldn’t have changed any part of this trip because all of these animals are incredible!