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Saturday, 15 September 2012

To the land of Madagascar!

Okay, to Johannesburg. Not quite the same as Madagascar the country... but most people think of Madagascar the movie anyway.


It is sooooooooo cool because who would expect South Africa to be so fun?! Honestly, what do you imagine when South Africa comes to mind? I thought of vast land and wildlife and very little development.

I was half right I think.

Jo'burg is quite developed actually. Or maybe it's just the city area where our hotel is located at...but still, much more happening than I imagined it to be. And they all speak pretty good English! Though with an uncommon accent that makes it a tad hard to understand, I was still pretty impressed.

Malls are huge with massive brands. There was like sale everywhere. Stuff are like dirt cheap but quality's thin though, so I didn't buy much. But if you've heard of Bio-Oil, this amazing amazing product that helps to remove ugly scars (even stretch marks, which I have all over my butt), it's darn cheap in Jo'burg!!! Like 12 bucks for a huge bottle. How to not buy? That alone gives me a reason to go to Jo'burg.

We ate Ocean Basket, which everyone tells us is a must-try. Something like Fish N Co in Singapore... nothing special, just seafood in a basket.

One thing I gotta highlight about Jo'burg though: No joke when it comes to tipping. You might wanna always tip the waiters/waitresses because they can ask you rather aggressively if you don't. They are even quite aggressive in promoting their products at the mall. That gave Lester and I quite a scare.

So here's a picture of me in the city area with a huge statue of Nelson Mandela.
(check out the dude in the background posing for my picture)

Day 1 was basically spent walking around the malls and buying stuff, while Day 2 was what we were really looking forward to.


I can't tell you the amount of excitement. It doesn't matter that the cost of the tour almost eats up our entire our allowance for Jo'burg because who gets to travel to Jo'burg and chase wildlife?!

ME! Wahaha.

Okay, so here's a shot at the entrance of the Lion Park.

African Lion: Rising Power of Truth.(don't mess with them!)

So all the animals are kinda kept in their enclosures. But the park allows you to enter and feed/pet them, do whatever you want. The animals are also allowed to wander around the park. Which this Ostrich here was walking around like-a-boss.


Here are some signs on the enclosures. Don't say they didn't warn you!



They had zebras, giraffes, lion cubs, ostriches, and Mort from Madagascar!

Mort wasn't that cute in real life, kinda like this squirrel looking thing, brownish, small and fast. Basically, animals that did their own thing so they weren't that fun.
Shall not post pictures of them cos they aren't that interesting to talk about.

The fun part was getting to feed the Ostrich and the Giraffes! It was quite scary at first. Cos the Ostrich was darn aggressive the moment he saw us holding onto the bag of food. She practically charged at us! The female pecks at food on your palm rather agressively but the male is kinda more docile and gentle. haha

Here are some shots of the male cos the female was too scary for me to feed.Image


I got to touch their feathers! Felt fluffy and soft, just like the rugs you get from Haji Lane or Arab street. hahaImage

After the Ostrich, we went to feed the Giraffe couple. Again, the male is much more docile than the female. Apparently he was having some digestive problems that day, so he wasn't that keen on eating. The food we had on our palms didn't do much help at all.

She got THAT close to my camera, no kidding. But pretty shot I managed! :D Check out her eyelashes.



Feeding the Giraffes takes a whole lot of courage! Firstly, they are so huge. And they have really long necks which helps them fish for food easily. Whether you are ready or not, they are!

And it isn't just the long necks that are scary. Their tongues are longer than you can imagine. It's black and long, and REALLY ROUGH. So when they're licking off from your palm, you will feel this rough slab licking across your palm.

Not an enjoyable feeling.

After awhile, when I got more accustomed to feeding them, they seem like beauties.

After the griraffes, here comes the highlight! The lion cubs! Just look at them. Such adorable little things, almost like a plush toy.

The thing with getting them to come and play with you, is to get down to their level, preferrably in a lying down position, so they'll come close and play with you. Cubs are really playful creatures so if you show them that you are willing to play with them, they are willing to play with you.

Here's our guide Shane, showing us how it's done.

And me, trying to get them to play with me. Fearful, but willing to give it a shot.


Super cute right?

It was so difficult saying goodbye. I felt like I could play with them forever. haha. But we had to because we were going to the Pilanesburg wildlife area to hunt some lions.

Which I shall talk about in my next post!