Africa Changed Me

Travelling to Kenya in 2003 remains a vivid Memory. I spent a month travelling through the country from Mombasa, on the Indian Ocean to Nairobi and on to Kisumu on Lake Victoria in the west. One of the many highlights of the trip was a safari on the Masai Mara. We drove in a van for hours from Nairobi over roads in desperate need of repair. We arrived at the Fig Tree Camp to find a luxurious all inclusive resort. Such a stark contrast to the vast grasslands of the Masai Mara National Reserve

Our safari experience include five game drives out into the grasslands and one walking safari. I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of space. There is a  vastness that filled my soul. It was breathtaking and awe-inspiring.  I felt part of something timeless as I watched the herds of zebra, antelope and wildebeest.

See how far away the horizon seems. Wildebeest in every direction, the tail end of the annual great migration south into the Serengeti, and yet they were everywhere I looked, in huge numbers.

We were privileged to see giraffe and elephants, birds and ostrich, hippos, warthogs (including several babies) a cheetah and of course the lions.

The lions were very exciting to see. One morning, we rose before dawn. We were going on a safari to seek the lions. Our drivers found three just as they finished feeding on a zebra. We sat in the jeep and watched, transfixed at such a horrible yet natural scene. The hyenas gathered at a safe distance, jostling and fighting for position, waiting to feast on the carcass. Buzzards watched nearby.

Before long, the lions wandered a short distance away, one with a chunk of leg. They rolled around in the grass full and satisfied. The Spotted Hyenas claimed the carcass while the buzzards tried to grab a piece of the prize. It was a fascinating scene, like something out of a National Geographic documentary.

This Memory will stay with me on into eternity. I truly understand the saying that once you visit Africa, you leave a piece of your heart there.

I leave you with a couple of quotes that resonate with me.

“Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same. But how do you begin to describe its magic to someone who has never felt it? How can you explain the fascination of this vast, dusty continent, whose oldest roads are elephant paths? Could it be because Africa is the place of all our beginnings, the cradle of mankind, where our species first stood upright on the savannas of long ago?”

* Brian Jackman (freelance writer best known for his interest in wildlife and wild places – especially Africa)

“Why is it you can never hope to describe the emotion Africa creates? You are lifted. Out of whatever pit, unbound from whatever tie, released from whatever fear. You are lifted and you see it all from above.” 
~ Fransesca Marciano, “Rules of the Wild”


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