I love safaris….not the hunting kind, the ones they call photographic…although I’m always way too excited to put a camera or binoculars in front of my face. My first adventures were in Zimbabwe. I travelled by canoe down the Zambezi River with 3 strangers and a guide who didn’t really like me because I thought the “ride” was a race. Every night the porters would meet us on a bank where they set up tents, an outhouse and even a shower (it was a bucket of warm water that you poured on yourself after soaping up) The meals were incredible or maybe I was just really hungry.
The hippos and crocodiles worked in tandem. I was told that the hippos were vegetarians but they didn’t mind killing you so the crocs could eat. We could hear the lions at night but I never saw one. And when I mentioned that I had only heard a hyena as well, Roger (the guide) told me he’d be happy to tie a chicken bone to my toe and we could let it hang outside my tent….I think he was kidding. I was happy I never saw one of those black mambas!
Within a 14 year span I visited a safari park outside Nairobi, 2 camps (well they were pretty nice hotels) in Tanzania to visit both the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater, 2 fantastic tent camps in Botswana, a lodge in Kruger Park in South Africa and most recently 2 parks in Swaziland. I also went “tracking” tigers in India, feeding elephants at an orphanage in Sri Lanka and once when walking down a busy street in Bangkok shared a sidewalk with another elephant. Have to admit, I’m partial to the cats!
Saw the stinky dreaded hyena many times after that first trip…..and in spite of that I was usually first in line at meal time too.