I was driving along the Garden Route in South Africa on vacation and was so excited to be there because ever since I was a little kid I had always wanted to go to South Africa, but what I really wanted to do was go on a safari.

My parents kept saying that we might not have time to go on one but I kept on hoping. Then we finally decided we were going to go on one, and I can't remember the last time I was as thrilled as I was in that moment. When we got to the place where we were going on the safari called Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, it was so awesome.

My brother and I sat outside looking at the alligators in the pond and watching the savanna while my parents got all the logistics figured out. It actually worked out perfectly because since we got there in early evening there weren't many people there so we got to go in a jeep without anyone else but a guide.

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We had many close encounters with animals native only to Africa including rhinoceroses, giraffes, African elephants, rare black impalas, golden wildebeests, mountain zebras, elands and many bird species. We even got to see a mother giraffe taking care of her calf.

Not only did I get to go on a safari in Africa but I also rode and fed an elephant at the Elephant Sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay, went to a monkey park that was also in Plettenberg Bay, and visited the famous Cape of Good Hope and Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robben Island. Believe it or not, there are penguins in South Africa so I saw those, too! Visit botlierskop.co.za for more information.