Wednesday, July 17, 2024

A Photo Journal: African Safari - Part V (The Big Kitties)

If you were to ask me "What was your other favorite part of your African Safari?," I would tell you that in addition to the Hot Air Balloon Ride, I really enjoyed watching the big kitties. During one of our game-viewing days in the Serengeti, we were fortunate to observe a pride of fifteen lions for more than an hour.   

That afternoon, we took a turn onto a quiet road. Guide Driver Miya was in the lead, piloting the Land Crusier in which Mom and I were passengers. Guide Driver Dotto and the rest of the group were in the other Land Cruiser a ways behind us. We didn't travel down the quiet road very far before we spotted a group of lions casually walking in our direction. 

Miya radioed Dotto. "We've come across a pride of lions on such-and-such road," he said. "Come quickly." Meanwhile, Miya pulled over so we could watch the lions pass.

Friday, July 12, 2024

A Photo Journal: African Safari - Part IV (Hot Air Balloon Ride)

If you were to ask me "What was your favorite part of your African Safari?," I would tell you I had two favorite parts. One was our hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti just as the sun was rising on a new day.

Every guidebook about Tanzania says you MUST take a balloon ride over the Serengeti. There was one other instance when Mom and I were encouraged to take a balloon ride — when we visited The Magical Cappadocia in Turkey a number of years ago. We had hemmed and hawed, debating whether the balloon adventure was too lavish for us. When on our last day in Cappadocia arrived, we decided to take the balloon ride. Alas, the weather wasn't ideal, and so the balloon excursion didn't happen. So when the opportunity for a hot air balloon ride arose for our trip to Africa, we didn't hesitate. We made it happen, and we are so glad we did. What an AMAZING experience!

A Photo Journal: African Safari - Part III (Tanzanian Culture)

On our African Safari, we saw far more than just wildlife. Our itinerary included multiple cultural experiences as well. We visited local families to see their homes and how they lived. We visited basket weavers to learn about their craft. We visited multiple organizations that are helping to improve the lives of the locals. One organization is increasing access to clean water by producing affordable ceramic water filters. Another is providing employment opportunities for the physically disabled. Yet another is supporting persons with albinism, a group often shunned for their physical appearance. 

Thursday, July 11, 2024

A Photo Journal: African Safari - Part II (The Serengeti)

We spent five days of our African Safari at Serengeti National Park. 

Serengeti is a Maasai word that means "endless plains." What an apt description! The plains extended on and on, endlessly in all directions.

Monday, July 8, 2024

A Photo Journal: African Safari - Part I (Tarangire & Ngorongoro)

Last August, Mom called me. "I really want to go on an African Safari," she said. "Would you want to go with me?" While a safari had never been high on my wanna-do list, the answer was pretty darn obvious. For one, I had never been to Africa before. For two, I hadn't been out of the country since Covid and was itchy for an overseas adventure. For three, I very well knew that while the days are long, the years are short, and so if Mom wanted to go, we should go!

Mom and me in the Serengeti.

The next few weeks were filled with back and forth emails and phone calls to work through details. When were we going to go? Where were we going to go? Who were we going to go with? We both had openings on our calendars for the October and January/February timeframes. We decided on the later dates, firmly believing that a significant part of the enjoyment of a trip is the anticipation and preparation. We considered different travel companies to travel with and different destinations to travel to. After reading through bunches of itineraries and asking for lots of opinions, we decided to sign up for Overseas Adventure Travel's 13-day Safari Serengeti tour beginning January 24th.