Being an African, I am used to hanging out in places where there are animals of all sorts; monkeys…lots of them actually, cheetahs, tigers, lions, elephants, hippos, impalas, you name them. I have seen them all…well, maybe not all of them but, I have seen quite my fair share of the wild especially given that I lived in Livingstone, the tourist capital of my Zambia, my home.
Livingstone is like heaven for animal lovers or anybody that wishes to be at one with the wild. For those visiting the town and living in lodges or hotels, just a peek out the window and you are likely to see something from the wild side of life. The most I got to being close to the wild was when I experienced my very first elephant ride, I should have been around eighteen years or so then. Obviously I didn’t get to enjoy the ride because I wasn’t quite adventurous back then, a timid and introverted teenager desperately trying to get out of her shell is what i was! kept thinking about the thousand things that could go wrong but everyone around me appeared to be enjoying the sight so I guess it wasn’t so bad.
However, one thing I have learnt about living in a place where seeing animals around isn’t such a big deal is that, even with that sense of familiarity, everyone knows to keep their boundary from wild animals. One knows to stay safe in the car when taking a ride around the game park or to stay close to the trained guide as you tour the place on foot. But then there are those places that have the most wild of animals safely caged and you get to enjoy taking selfies with a lion at close proximity being afraid of losing a part of your anatomy. For a while I actually did believe I had had my fair share of game watching until I took a trip to a place called Chaminuka Lodge with my now ex-husband.
And it was there I learnt just how close to the wild one could get.
I never imagined it was possible for anyone to get so close to a cheetah and two of them at a go for that matter! Turns out the cheetahs were trained since young and as far as I know they haven’t eaten any human that’s chilled with them like this before!
I don’t remember a lot of the details about this trip given that I was there in 2013 but I do remember the two cheetahs we hang out with had names which they responded to very well. I do intend to go back there one of these days with my friends and capture the whole experience to share with everyone, I know it’s gonna be a fun one!