As a kid, whenever I asked something silly or said something funny in class, I was reminded by my teacher that everyone's not laughing at me, they're laughing with me. So in the spirit of shared giggles, we share with you some of the funniest questions and comments our guides have heard from guests on safari. Not made up, all genuine questions. Don't worry, we'll keep them anonymous! And if you recognise your own question here, well done for asking! Remember, there's no such thing as a dumb question. Well... okay, I'm lying, I take that back. #17 is my favourite.
1. After entering the park, it was no surprise to see some herds of impala as the first animals. After seeing the third herd someone asked: "Are there enough rabbits in the park for the impalas to eat?"
2. On seeing ringbarked trees: "Is it the lions that ringbark the trees?"
3. "Do elephants have teeth?"
4. The python, Africa's biggest snake, known to devour small antelope. Someone asked hopefully: "What do they eat, insects?"
5. That first-moment enthusiasm! After seeing leopard, lions, and the endangered wild dog and black rhino all on one safari, at the end of the safari the guide asked what the highlight was. The answer: "The very first impala."
6. On seeing several open safari trucks in the Kruger Park: "I noticed that most of the safari vehicles have been converted by a specialist company. We don't have that company in the UK."
7. While discussing ostriches, a large bird landed in a tree just up ahead. "Was that the ostrich?" And during a barbecue dinner, the guide puts chicken drumsticks on the grill. "Is that ostrich meat?"
8. Guide: "What is the collective noun for impala?" Guest: "A shitload."
9. "Are the elephants allowed to push over the trees?"
10. "Are warthogs born alive?" Before the guide can answer, she elaborates: "... or do they hatch from eggs?"
11. In some smaller reserves, rhino's horns are sometimes cut off as a protective measure against poaching. On seeing one with the horn cut off, a guest wants to know: "Will they struggle to hunt now?"
12. "Are there any countries in Africa where there are no people?"
13. "Where in South Africa is Tanzania?" Before the guide can answer, another guest pipes up: "No, it's not in South Africa, it's near Australia."
Perhaps this might explain the irrational fear of some people that they will get Ebola in South Africa, thousands of miles from where the Ebola outbreak is. - Ed
14. "Who does the landscaping in Kruger?"
15. "Do you assist the impalas in giving birth?"
16. "Why didn't the impala climb higher up into the tree to get away from the leopard?"
17. "Was the 'Lion King' shot here?"
Yes, it was. We had to reshoot it several times because Scar and the hyenas just wouldn't co-operate. - Ed
18. "When is the feeding time?"
19. Kudus (a large antelope) are browsing on trees while some ground hornbills (a large bird) are seen on the ground, nearby. Guest: "Are the kudus going to eat those birds?"
20. From a true safari novice: "What's that animal with the black and white stripes?"
About the author
Onne Vegter is the managing director of Wild Wings Safaris. He has a deep love for Africa's people, wildlife and natural heritage. Onne has travelled to most of Africa's top safari destinations and his writing is based on years of personal experience in the safari industry. Follow him on Twitter at @OnneVegter.