The BIG 5

Mike was deemed "elephant" man for the day as he spotted all 4 elephants we saw.

Mike was deemed “elephant” man for the day as he spotted all 4 elephants we saw.

I’d never heard the term before this weekend, “The Big 5.” What this term refers to are the big animals in Africa that you really want to catch a glimpse of while on a wildlife safari. These Big 5 are:

1. Lions (duh!)
2. Rhinos
3. Elephants (Largest land mammal, in case you ever need to know this)
4. Hippos
5. Buffalo

This last weekend Mike and I went to Majete Game Park accompanied by Jackie (a PR intern for Mary’s Meals who is in Malawi for a year), Fiona (a Mary’s Meals employee from Glasgow), and Gay Russell (a woman who helped establish Mary’s Meals: Malawi). With five sets of eyes we were able to spot 3:5 BIG 5; not bad I’d say.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending if you’re paying to view animals or an animal trying to survive, it had rained the previous night in the park and everything was green; there was vegetation everywhere. It was absolutely beautiful and made Mike and I nostalgic for the forests of Iowa. I actually enjoyed the challenge as I feel it’s a little too easy to drive through a desolate area void of green and spot animals who can’t possibly hide from you.

This guy was presumably kicked out of the herd as he was alone and look at those scars!

This guy was presumably kicked out of the herd as he was alone and look at those scars!

Neither Mike nor I had ever been to a game park before so we had a blast! One of our favorite animals to see were the baboons. They are so fun to watch because they have such quirky personalities. It’s fun to watch them interact with each other and see what they’ll do next.

Baby Baboon. Thanks Jackie Farr for letting me borrow your photos.

Baby Baboon. Thanks Jackie Farr for letting me borrow your photos.

Also, another very beautiful animal was the sable, a VERY large deer-like animal with gigantic horns, absolutely beautiful.

Sable

Before we went on the drive, we stayed at Ngona Lodge and ate lunch and swam in the infinity pool….life was really rough that day. We even ate Mexican salads with red kidney beans, onions, green peppers, cheese, and apples; so delicious!

We stayed the night at the lodge on Majete’s grounds and slept in a permanent tent. Mike and I were originally assigned to tent number 5 but our bathroom light was burnt out and they had no more light bulbs so we were transferred to tent number 6.

The move was great for us as we got the “honeymoon suite” for the same price as a regular tent. This room had a gigantic outdoor bathroom area outdoors that was made out of rocks. That’s right, we had to shower and use the toilet outside while watching all of the wildlife surrounding us, ha.

This was a really great experience and we’re incredibly fortunate that we are able to have these experiences. Praise God! Mike and I really needed a little get-away from the craziness that is day-to-day life trying to get adjusted.

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