Travel is an amazing thing. It allows us to do things sometimes we've never dreamed of and a Safari is one of those things. It is not for everyone though so keep reading to see which side of the fence you fall.
There’s a lot of self-control that goes along with a safari. Self-control? I know this sounds crazy but it’s true. I mean most people like animals, who doesn’t like animals. You should probably love animals though if you planning to go on the Safari. I mean the type of love that makes you want to swim with dolphins or dive with sharks, and even ride camels in the deserts of the Middle East. Because any sudden reactions during animal interactions could result in you, someone else, or the animal getting hurt or even worse killed. You should also know that you have some really, really early but spectacular mornings. The beds, which are so comfortable, and the stillness and quietness of the night will fight to keep you cozied up for a few hours more but your tracker will be leaving with or without you in 30 minutes. This is the biggest difference as during safari you are getting up at five or six to be ready for your morning trek. What's a girl to do? Remember that self-control.
African safaris aren’t about being fashionable, in fact in order to get there many require a small plane or long bumpy four-wheel-drive ride on dirt roads and little room for luggage. There is sort of a typical uniform for going on Safari which incorporates varying shades of beige, gray, olive green, and light brown for shirts, pants, and hats. Then in some areas malaria pills are highly suggested, others you need shots, and for all of them you need sunblock and bug spray. It’s all worth it in the end.
Your day starts off with a light breakfast, although the spread offers many choices and one won’t go hungry. Here’s where it becomes a bit tough for some as you track for animals. At some point, usually pretty early on sometimes even on your drive from the airport, you realize you’re only a few feet away from a wild animal. That animal could be a springbok, an elephant, a herd of buffalo, zebras, or even lions and hyenas. There’s nothing like your first feeling of fear when you are literally less than a stone's throw away from an animal that can end your life. It is an amazing thrill but at the same time you need a lot of self-control to keep from freaking out. You soon realize the animals really don’t care about you, and more importantly your tracker and/or driver has a gun. The beauty of these creatures is amazing especially viewing them in their own habitat. So different from going to any zoo. Of course, you’re briefed before your first trip on what to do and not do and your tracker/guide has done this many times over. Your fear soon subsides as you realize you need to just live in the moment.
All of it’s quite magical. I mean you’re in the middle of nowhere (at least as far as us Americans can tell) within this oasis filled with running water, and luxe accommodations (many have pools and some even have spas). You’re eating the most amazing food prepared usually by locals who learn their chef skills by assisting in the kitchen of one of the lodges when they were younger. You really get to see nature at its best and hundreds of stars light up the night's sky. For me it was full of a-ha moments and Wanderlust. It brought me back into a time where things were a lot simpler, quieter, and people relied on all their senses and truly enjoyed life's simplicity.
Now, if you’re anything like my mom (sorry mom) who screams and stomps if she sees an iguana or anything similar in the US then a safari is probably not for you. If you’re fascinated by animals and are able to exhibit self control over any reactionary motions then a safari should be on your to-do list and sooner rather than later.
Is a safari for you or are you like my mother and would rather stick to human sightings? I'd love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions so comment below.
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