Into the wild in South Africa

The beauty of animals in the wild is awe inspiring.

I love all animals…dogs in particular as you know…and this past October I travelled to South Africa to explore the beauty of animals in the wild. It was an amazing trip where I got to meet other people like myself from all over the world. On two different safaris we travelled with some very knowledgeable guides and rangers learning about the different behaviours of animals in the wild. Here are some of my observations:

  • Lions really think they are the kings of all beasts. Well the male lions anyway.

  • Seals don’t eat penguins. They kill the penguins to eat the fish in their belly.

  • Crocodile brains are poisonous.

  • Ostriches do not bury their head in the sand. They do think though that if they can’t see you, you can’t see them. And…Ostriches eat anything shiny!

  • Lemurs are totally treat motivated and are trained that way…they love fruits. Oddly, the female lemurs will chase the males away if they are trying to get attention. Hmmm…

  • Many animals in the wild do not have good eyesight. The exceptions: Lions and Cheetahs.

  • There are both white and black rhinos, which are both endangered. To reduce the interest of poachers, some places file down and others drill a hole and put in some type of substance to make it useless. The black rhinos tend to stay out of sight however can be aggressive. We witnessed this when we came upon one and he did the quickest turn to stare us down, we waited it out as advised by our Ranger to stay calm and he finally walked away.

  • Elephants have amazing memories. They eat 18 hours a day and destroy many of the trees.

  • Hippos kill the most humans either overturning boats or surprising Villagers who literally run into them while doing chores.

  • Giraffes are the most curious.

  • Warthogs are very skittish but are very cute when they run. That was fun to watch.

  • Male birds create these beautiful nests to attract females. If the females do not like what they see they will destroy and the male must start over.

I could go on…

What I was amazed at was how many of the animals of different breeds, size and age live and work together harmoniously even to the point of warning if predators (mainly Lions) are near. I witnessed a bird give a warning call to a herd of Elands, Zebras and warthogs.

Animals in the wild have dominance struggles. I witnessed two wildebeests locking horns while the giraffes curiously followed the fight like spectators at a sporting event!

The biggest thing that was driven home by our rangers and guides was this: If you respect the animals’ space they will respect yours.

After observing these animals in the wild, it brings home the fact all animals…including our domesticated dogs…are social creatures.  They live in groups and packs with defined social and communal behaviours that reward behaviours that benefit the entire group. Exactly how our dog…pets…behave and expect to be treated.

Now some pictures from my time in the wild in South Africa…

Clay-covered Croc in the road
Black Rhino ready to charge
Lunchtime snacking
19b0e861-03d7-4f2b-ac97-9e99b13ab8d2 kill
Cheetah Brothers
Resting Rhinos!


Ostrich necks expand to swallow


At The Dog Stop we are dedicated to ensuring that you and your pet have a long and healthy relationship.  We offer training for every age and stage for your dog.  Visit our Training page for details:  The Dog Stop Training.