Jay's Adventure's - Madikwe, South Africa - Jan 2001
(click any picture to get enlargement)

Nicole could not take much time off, so I decided to drive to the northern part of South Africa for my first safari... to a place Nicole had been a few weeks before.

Road to Guest House ?

Guest House In View

Driveway to Paradise

Front Lawn Area 

Pool Area

Front-yard Watering Hole

My secluded room, with only frogs as roommates

My comfortable bed
(with mosquito netting)

Game Drive Jeep

General Road in Park

Valley Scenery

Tree Scenery

More Trees

An inexperienced Guide 

Great Rainbow
(no pot of gold though)

Termite Hill 

River Crossing
(looked for hippos first)

Lone Elephant

Water Hole Elephants

Great "Elly" Picture 

Elly's in Mud Hole

Elly's Ready to Charge?

Elly's Cross Road

Giraffe Family

Lonely Giraffe

Water Buck

Pride of Lions

Is he ready to Attack?

Nope, he'll just watch!

Lioness' Dinner

Time To Wash Up

Warthog Remains

Cheetah Relaxing







Prarie of Animals

Sunset on the Game Drive

SPECIAL:  In Madikwe Park, most animals have been imported from other areas which were determined to no longer be safe for the animals.  Once replaced, most animals adjust well and put up with humans.  The animals are in their natural habitat and it is the humans who are intruding on their ground.  Unfortunately the natural habitats are being shrunk and game parks are becoming the only places the animals can live.  The game parks need money to stay in existence; the money comes from visitors who want to see the animals.  The result is that the animals and humans need to co-exist and that close encounters are bound to happen.

The three pictures below show one of those un-planned contacts.  In this case the jeep goes around a corner and unexpectedly comes upon a herd of elephants.  The matriarch (lead female) in this herd must have had bad experiences with humans (they have good memories) and did not want anyone to get too close.  

Oooops, herd ahead! 
Female is in "Protect
Mode" (note flared ears)

Jeep begins to back up as female approaches (note she has only one tusk)

She continues to pursue reversing jeep  (back leg  shows she is running) 

Due to previous experience, the guide knows that this elephant will not back down.  He continues to drive in reverse and hopes to come upon a spot in which he can quickly turn around..... no spot can be found and the charging elephant catches up to the jeep ..... and rams it; see the next three pictures.

Ramming speed ... oh no! 

Guide survives ....  

The Jeep is not so lucky and sustains damage that would be hard for a human to reproduce.  The elephant did this easily, which shows the powerful force they have. Note the close proximity to the guide seat; big tip is due! 

The incident was reported to the authorities and they decided that this elephant posed a great risk to park visitors (this was about the hundreth incident with this particular female).  Ideas of replacement to another area were pursued, unfortunately without success.  The authorities decided that this animal needed to be taken out quickly, since it would be just a matter of time until a human was injured.  An incident could lead to lawsuits and possible closure of the reserve.

A hunt was organized and bids were solicited to raise funds for the reserve; highest bidder would receive the "honor".  I have always wondered what a "big game hunt" would be like and I decided to put in a bid........... and guess what?



Yes, I won the bid ! Part of me was excited, but I was mostly apprehensive.   I had made a comment that I had lost respect for big game hunters, as it seemed way too easy to drive a jeep up to a herd and take a shot .... there seemed to be NO skill involved!  

Given no choice, I prepared for the hunt; I got them to agree that we'd do it on foot.  We quickly proceeded to find indications of the herd we wanted.  Before I had a chance to back out, we came upon the herd.  In an hour or so, we were able to isolate the female.  We got  into a position to minimize the impact to other animals and to minimize the chances of her suffering.

The Result?  

I have kept the picture rather blurry because it was not a nice sight.


But see more below.....




    ......... yes, this was basically a hoax story ...... I don't think I could shoot an animal like that, especially after seeing these animals in their shrinking natural habitat ........  sorry if I offended anyone!

This ended my first experience in a real South African game lodge ... 
... and I was TOTALLY thrilled about the experience.  

I am sure we will be going on quite a few more safaris in the near future.

Return to Jay's Main Page