It is hard to believe that I am on my way to East Africa! This adventure promises to be a trip of a lifetime to a destination I have not revisited since I did a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) program in 1987. It was a much more grueling itinerary back then, sleeping in leaky tents, eating Chapates until my stomach could not bloat anymore, and lugging an 80 pound backpack to the 16,400 foot summit of Mt. Kenya!The adventures of that last trip are forever seared in my memory. While sailing on our dhows around Lamu, I can still remember the gunshots in the distance from the Somali bandits. In order to avoid capture or injury we had to jump off the dhows and hide in trees until the shots abated. It was quite frightening at the time (albeit rather exciting) and at such a young age I was naïve to the potential severity of it.
I am thankful that this upcoming trip will not include leaky tents or any backpacks (at least none that I will be wearing!). I can now indulge in the true essence of a top-notch African Safari –much more my style, I must say. This safari promises indulging in the magnificent beauty of the savannahs, seeing the animals Rudyard Kipling wrote about that fill a child’s imagination. At the same time we will be wined and dined and escorted in luxury through Kenya and Tanzania with the best guides in Africa. I can already sense that this is going to be a trip of a lifetime!
Following was one of my last journal entries from that trip in 1987:
“We had a final group gathering around the fire …reciting poems and singing songs …I felt a real sense of friendship and warmth among this group of new friends that I have spent the last 2.5 months with. It’s pretty exciting to actually reflect on what we have accomplished and gone through together. A very exciting and rewarding experience to say the least. I feel lucky to have had this experience. My friend Carol and I had a nice afternoon, sitting under the big tree in our campsite trying to stay cool, enjoying the African noises and beautiful setting. We had a great conversation thinking about our family, friends, boyfriends and what all we have just accomplished. Hard to believe that we will be home in two weeks after we travel on our own”
I hope you will follow me throughout this journey and I trust there will be similar reflections! I can already say that packing for safari is not as easy as opening the closet and filling the suitcase. Safari apparel is based around the colors of the landscape: khaki, green, and neutrals…not my top day to day color choices!
I will keep you updated with posts from Africa and hope to intrigue you with firsthand accounts of my travels. Upon my return, let me help you plan your African adventure with up to date information and firsthand knowledge of this fascinating part of the globe.
Usiku Mwena! (good night in Swahili)