Going on a safari sort of interests me. But I think I’m too old now to make what I always assumed would be a strenuous trip. Last night I got to take a safari the easy way — via film at the monthly travelogue.
Our safari was in Kenya and Tanzania and focussed on three of the national parks. It was a flying safari so we were spared many miles of bumping over rough tracks in a jeep. Still, we had a fair bit of that, too, just to give us the “real safari” experience. We stayed in nice lodges. One, the Giraffe Lodge, was very unusual. There were giraffes all around who seemed to think they owned the place. They stuck their heads in the windows, looking for treats from you. Somehow, it was hard to remember they were wild animals. They were acting more like pets.
The most strenuous part of the trip, to my way of thinking, was hiking to see the gorillas. This was in the area where Dian Fosse lived and worked and is buried. While the adults are impressive, it was the young ones which captured your heart. Each hike is allowed to watch the gorillas for an hour.
Another impressive thing was the migration of the wildebeest when they travel 600 miles in search of water. I wonder how they know which direction to take.
By taking the film safari, I avoided another bit of wildlife — the tsetse fly. According to Rick Ray, our photographer, there is no insect repellent that those flies will respect. They crawl on you, bite, and in general make your life miserable. Oddly enough, there are traps made of blue and black paper or cloth which attracts them so at least in that area, they’ll leave you alone.