IT was an eye opener for someone who has not been to a game reserve in his life.
Arriving at Erindi mid-day and after being booked in into the spacious rooms of Erindi, I accompanied people who have been exposed to wild animals through their travels to places such as Etosha. But, I also learnt that no one in the group had been to this place and that Erindi, would offer a different experience to the entire group, consisting of Newsprint and a group from The Namibian's managers.
Although the game drives at Erindi do not always have the desired results of getting an encounter with the game, we were very lucky as just after something like 10 minutes, our tour guide alerted us to a rare white rhino, munching leaves from a thorn tree.
After spending about seven minutes there, we more game such as giraffe, kudu and springbok looking content in their natural environment. All the animals looked so tame, because they are not disturbed by hunters and poachers.
Our next sighting of animals was in a sandy riverbed, where two lionesses were rolling over each others and resting under a shade. Both of them were collared and were in the least bothered by us, though we were just a few metres from them. Some of us who had never seen lions in such close proximity, got worried when our Land Rover nearly got stuck in the soft sand. With the expert maneuvering of our tour guide, we were able to get out of the riverbed.
We learnt later during our excursion that another group of tourists got stuck in the river and had to be pulled out before they probably become dinner for the two lionesses.
Although we did not see elephants on our ride, we were fortunate to see a group of jumbos at the dam right in front of the restaurant where we had dinner. With the elephants with their little ones trumping their arrival, the dining hall of the restaurant became empty with all guests rushing out to view the giant animals.
The dam's permanent residents are hippos and crocodiles, who appear to live in harmony.
My experience at Erindi will be everlasting, having been able to live in a semi wild setting for about three days.