African Safari – Intro; Pack Your Fears, But Leave that Bag Behind

JOURNAL ENTRY, JANUARY 24, 2016: There’s a different feeling in the air here. Is it the constant fear in the animals? Is it that we’re on the equator? Is it that there are no pollutants? Is it the continuous birdcalls? The vastness of space? The thrill of wondering who will pop their head out of the…

African Safari – pt 1; DIS IS AFRICA

Africa was never on my bucket list, as I’ve usually traveled alone and simply harbored too many fears of the country: getting eaten alive by lions; malaria/eboli/meningitis/yellow fever; and only knowing how to say “Hakuna Matata” in Swahili. Yet there I sat with my hand in the air, when the handsome actor told his audience…

African Safari – pt 2; It’s A Small World

Jet-lag vanquished, on the third day we traveled to the regional Wilson airport to board a small plane for a one-hour flight to the Maasai Mara. This drive had me peeking into my bag of terror, as there was no rhyme or reason to the chaos of the Nairobi road we were on. Granted, it…

African Safari – pt 3; A Wildlife Haven

Arriving at the Sentinel Mara Camp, we were greeted by more of the Maasai warriors and other men in the requisite khaki safari-wear, along with Peter, our host. They served us passion-fruit juice and warm towels. Strolling into camp, which is situated directly above the rushing Mara River, we could see and hear about thirty…

African Safari – pt 4; I Thought You Were Supposed to Protect Me

Returning from the evening safari, we showered and came out to a crackling campfire and cocktails. Christopher and Eddie were thrilled that we’d already seen the “Big Five” on our first day (elephant, rhino, cape buffalo, lion, leopard). Soon, all of the men who’d greeted us earlier started chanting a hypnotic African song and dancing…

African Safari – pt 5; Ho Hum

We were seeing all of the usual suspects, and I began to feel bad that I could be so nonchalant about a galloping herd of impalas alongside me. We were almost yawning, “yeah, impalas – and just beyond them, topi.” Ho hum. We’d mumble, “uh huh, uh huh,” whenever the guides would tell us that,…

African Safari – pt 6; Hopping in Blankets

  And then, of course, there were the Cheetahs. They may be the fastest animals on earth, but on the days we saw them, they were very relaxed and playful. Some cubs were climbing in a tree while their mother napped nearby. I should say, rather, they were TRYING to climb the tree. Cheetahs aren’t…

Cruising with a Mini Mob

Many “real” travelers poo pooh cruises, saying cruising is a form of cheating. Well, I consider myself a real traveler, and I have enjoyed cheating nine times. Ok, I enjoyed seven of the nine. My latest cruise, around South America, may very well be my last sea cruise. Of the 2,100 passengers on this two-week…