Patting lions and licked by a giraffe in South Africa

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC have recently returned from a trip to South Africa. While in Johannesburg, we visited the well-known Lion Park, in Honeydew. Get up close and personal with a lion, be licked by a giraffe, or chat to a meerkat.

This post is mostly about lions. But I’ll tell you a bit about Johannesburg while we’re at it. In contrast to my usual adventure-filled writings, this is a post in which a whole lot of nothing happens. But it’s attractive nothingness, with just a hint of hidden violence.

I see that the Lion Park has a celebrity wall. This worm is sure they’ll add my picture to it soon!

My impressions? Somnabulance.  Slow-moving pedestrians on shimmering pavements. Umbrellas wavering in the haze of the summer heat. Barbed wire atop high walls. Electrified fences. Gorgeous shopping. Intense industry. Building, ever building. Chaotic crossroads. Hawkers. Quality and squalour. Awesome. Much inthe last few sentences describes the lions too. The giraffe is all awesome.

The book I’m in

Code to Zero, by Ken Follett. Titbits of rocket science, Soviet spies, CIA and NASA. Just want you want for a good, fast read.

Travel tip

If you’re going to get licked by a giraffe, have a wet wipe handy.

The photos

Me looking nonchalant, with lion looking uncomfortably interested:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

I twaut I taw a puddy tat:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

Sleeping lions – that’s all that happens in this video, honest:

Lions are not always dignified:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

And then, that effortless dignity of the jungle king:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

I was safely inside the car with the TC when she took this photo:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

Safely? When a lion is just a few feet away and looking right at you, the thin metal of a car door seems a flimsy barrier.

The other denizens of the park provide some light relief:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

You’ve just gotta love a face like that.

Fancy being licked by a giraffe?

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

The TC discovered that a giraffe’s tongue is long and slightly rough to the touch. The saliva is plentiful and sticky.

Patting lions and licked by a giraffe in South Africa

Mmmm:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

That’s all for today, dudes.

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