I love to travel!
While I have traveled a lot, I know there is so much more to see in the world. When I hear stories from my friends about places they have visited, I only add more locations to the list of places to visit – you know the expression “So many places, so little time!” As long as I can find a way both physically and financially, I will always travel because each trip enriches my life in so many ways.
I have not found my favorite place yet.
People like to ask me which country or trip was my favorite. I always want to respond by saying the next one – who knows what adventures are waiting. Each trip is a unique experience in and of itself. I find this to be true whether I am visiting some place new or revisiting an old favorite. Anyone who knows me knows that I never tire of going to France. I could never tire of visiting Paris or the small villages and towns outside of Paris in places such as Provence. That said, it is really difficult to stop myself from responding that my absolute favorite trip so far was my African safari.
The safari was definitely at the top of the list.
The safari was so truly unique and different from any other experience that I have had. All of my senses and emotions were constantly stimulated. I felt as if I was in an IMAX theater watching the experience of someone else on safari and then I was pleasantly surprised to see that we were right there in the screen in the middle of everything – that’s how surreal the entire experience was.
Rather than go to South Africa, we chose to go to Tanzania and Kenya. The time of year we chose at the recommendation of our tour company (mid-June) was just after the rainy season so the animals and vegetation were abundant. We even saw some of the early parts of the migration as we traveled through the Serengeti. We were fortunate to have had our own drivers and guides for each leg of the trip so we were able to personalize it and make changes along the way if our guide had suggestions or we just wanted to linger at a particular site to watch the animals or admire the scenery. Most of the time it was a stop to patiently wait until my husband found the perfect moment to take one of the thousands of photographs he took capturing the beauty all around us.
The areas we covered in Kenya and Tanzania.
We started the safari with an overnight stay in Nairobi, Kenya and from there we flew to Samburu where we spent time at the Samburu National Reserve in northern Kenya. After a few days there, we flew to Tanzania where we visited the Maasai Mara. From there we went on to the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (including the volcanic crater which was millions of years old and from which the lave flowed that helped form the Serengeti) and the Lake Manyara National Park. All in all our adventure spanned 14 breathtaking and wondrous days. Travel between each location was via small plane often piloted by women pilots.
The animals and the landscape – amazing!
The Landscape and animals were amazing! The last thing that crossed my mind was hunting and killing one of the hundreds of animals that we saw. There were times when we sat very quietly in our vehicles watching a lion, cheetah or giraffe watching us. I truly believed that if they could communicate with us they would have welcomed is to their land and asked that we only respect them and their land and, in turn, they too would respect and welcome us.
At no time did I feel afraid or threatened and I will admit that I am usually afraid of most animals. I grew up hating circuses and zoos because they always seemed cruel to me. I recognize that we cannot have potentially dangerous animals wandering around our streets but I always asked myself how would I feel if I was locked in a cage that became my entire world. However, on this safari seeing the animals in their natural environment, they looked (for lack of a better way to put it) at ease and at home.
You want to be sure to read my next post on the safari where I will share my thoughts and experiences on the wonderfully gracious and gentle people we met along our journey in Africa.