May 17, 2018 – 12:08 BST
Any royal fan worth their salt knows that the magical continent of Africa holds a very special place in the hearts of royal brothers, Princes William and Harry. Both have been regular visitors over the years – just recently Harry took Meghan Markle to Botswana to celebrate her 36th birthday and William even popped the question Kate Middleton in Kenya in 2011. So when we were given the chance to leave the concrete jungle of London behind and head to the savanna to discover it ourselves, we jumped at the opportunity.
After an 11-hour flight to Johannesburg we headed to the Phinda Game Reserve, located just two hours from the city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, a hidden area known for its abundant wildlife, and plentiful safari activities. It’s a place of incomparable beauty covering over 23,000 hectares of wild nature, offering seven different ecosystems – from palm savanna and mountain bush to rare sand forest and dense thornveld – and the promise of viewing Africa‘s Big Five, endangered black rhinos, and 415 bird species. Think early morning game drives, bush walks, unforgettable sunsets and relaxing spa treatments.
From day one we realized why Prince Harry has previously said Africa is where he feels more like himself than anywhere else in the world. The surroundings are peaceful and the animal kingdom is so magical that you quickly forget about everything else.
Accompanying us on the trip, Anton Louw was the perfect guide. A committed conservationist and accomplished wildlife photographer with more than 20 years experience, he showed us the wonders of the African wildlife and also made sure we perfectly caught it on camera, offering us tips, tricks and the best advice to take incredible pictures and capture the most amazing moments with our Huawei P20 Pro. Memories that will definitely last forever.
The Huawei P20 Pro doesn’t just feature an incredible camera, it has three and they all work together to give you that perfect and professional-looking shot. Don’t forget that while on safari, travelling light is a must as there is limited space so leaving the DSLR at home wasn’t a big deal knowing that we were going to have the perfect equipment in our very own pocket. Huawei have really revolutionized the world of mobile photography with their latest gadget.
Lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants and buffalos – we managed to capture all the Big Five. Some, close-up and others from afar, which wasn’t really an issue given the phone’s 5X Hybrid Zoom, meaning you don’t need to be incredibly close to the subject to get a quality shot.
We were even lucky enough to capture on camera the rhino dehorning procedure during which the rhino’s horns are removed to deter poachers as part of the Rhinos without borders programme – an overwhelming experience that made for a life-changing trip
The dehorning is done under anaesthetic, Mike Toft, the veterinarian who carried out this procedure, explained how it is done: “From a helicopter, our tracker locates the rhino; we dart him and immediately “guide” the animal to a safe area where we can start the dehorning. Once it kicks in, the rhino is quickly blindfolded and his ears are covered and using a chainsaw we cut the horn off horizontally and we smooth it down. It is much like us cutting and filing our nails.” The animal does not suffer and he is up and running again 10 minutes after.
Poaching is a big concern – and the death of the last remaining male northern white rhino earlier this year is a painful reminder of this. Rhinos without Borders is a joint initiative between andBeyond and Great Plains Conservation, they play an important role in rhino conservation as dehorning these animals has become a necessity in Phinda, as on so many other private reserves in Zululand due to rhino poaching becoming rampant in South Africa.
But Phinda is not just an animal kingdom: think gorgeous pink sunsets, traditional ‘braais’ (an African barbecue) served alfresco under the African stars, with the sounds and the aroma of the African jungle as a backdrop. The only problem, as we found out as our week drew to a close – is leaving it behind is hard to do. Just like Princes Harry and William, Africa has won our hearts and we can’t wait to go back.
The P20 Pro is available to purchase now from all UK carriers and retail partners including Carphone Warehouse, EE, Vodafone, Three and O2, priced at £799. The device is available in two striking colours, Midnight Blue and Black.