Hailing from Cape Town, I was always convinced that order to go on Safari I would need to visit the Kruger National Park. I have been there as a child but the memories are sketchy, to say the least.

Then I was approached to visit Aquila Private Game Reserve and let's just say my theories were blown out of the water on all fronts! Safaris are available in Cape Town and are a mere two hours in a transfer shuttle from any leading hotel in Cape Town.

 But, there are a few things you need to know:
1. Vegetation
The vegetation here is what we call "fynbos" or fine bush, an indigenous type of vegetation in the Cape, but not the natural vegetation that many of the animals are used to for food sources. Therefore many of the animals diets are specially supplemented with the correct food sources and quantities, to keep them nourished and healthy at all times. Yes, that goes for anything from the Lions to the Giraffe.

2. Water
The water pools and watering holes are all monitored and topped up to ensure once again that the animals are comfortable (looking at you Hippo's) and have enough hydration.

So back to the majestic African Elephant!

On this particular day, we had set off on a really chilly early morning game drive at 6.30am, with knees covered and huge fluffy jackets the tone was set with expectation.

We set off and explored a few of the other game species such as the Giraffe and Lion before heading towards the Elephant herd, and it was perfect timing! The sun was just coming up and the air was crisp enough that every breath left a cloud of vapour.

As luck would have it the Elephants were rather quirky, first pulling a few rather funny maneuvers in the mud with their backsides in the air ... soon to be followed by two males have a full on blarney. Both instances were just as breathtaking and beautiful, but as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words.

The funny side of Elephants - "ELEPHANTANTICS"

As you can see they were rather funny and no they were not pooping, and they are both males so not funny business either ... just saying.

Anyhoo what seemed to be bathtime antics soon turned to boys bursting with testosterone as one rather agitated male tackled the other head on, before storming off to throw a tantrum on his own for nearly half an hour.

The Elephant showdown

What an amazing game drive and once again our Safari Ranger Mike was amazing at getting us up close. It did help that it was early and we were the only truck on the drive ... less noise and distraction.

(These are the photographs I cried about and almost lost ... now you see why the heartsore)

 African Elephants - here are a few facts:
- Their ears are the shape of the African continent
- They cool themselves by flapping their ears
- They eat up to 300kg of vegetation per day
- They love to splash and play in the water
- If they start trumpeting, get the hell out of the way!!!

Thank you again to Aquila Safari for a life-changing two days, I absolutely adored the Game Drives and Safari experience from beginning to end!