She Made Her Lighting Fast Move To Claim A Zebra For Dinner
This was our third safari to East Africa, second to Tanzania. Each experience is unique, however this was truly an African Dream come true. The gift of having just your party in a safari truck with your own guide, tutor, caretaker and protector was a five-star experience. The beauty of the countryside , the stillness of long plains, waist-high bleached grass, acacia trees shading accompanied by the sound track of the wildebeest’s gentle “Gnu” broken by the elephant breaking down bushes and limbs, the almost silent padding of the cats crossing in the soft dirt all create a never to be forgotten experience. The colors of Africa, from the red robes of the Maasai to the tawny coats of the cats to the bright colors of the birds blend with the landscape. The light remains in the memory long after we traveled back to the rush of everyday life.
The countless photos try but cannot capture the startling awareness of exotic animals carelessly near to you. Is there a high as high as looking into a lion’s golden eyes, as curious about us as we are about them? Watching the animals move, run, hunt, love, nurse and cuddle their young is indescribable .
The cheetahs did not jump on our truck, but a male lion padded around and down the side of the truck, staring up at us, inches from the camera. Several trucks were parked around a watering hole with hundreds of zebras pushing each other for a drink. The truck radios were alive that a single lioness had been spotted in the area. I moved my camera to get a shot of the large group of trucks with cameras all posed on the zebras when the lioness was spotted casually lying between two trucks with no one aware she was there. When a truck started up the noise distracted the zebras and she made her lighting fast move to claim a baby zebra for dinner in the middle of the stampede. The leopards and cheetahs were beautiful but the lions on their “honeymoon” and with their cubs hold a special place in our memory.
Most of us make this journey for the experience of the great migration and the animals. Some of our most memorable experiences were to step away from the discovery channel of animals to the people of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Sitting by a campfire on the rim of the Crater discussing Africa today with two ADS guides, talking to the man who oversees a coffee plantation and the women carefully picking future Starbuck coffee beans, or visiting FAME and meeting Dr. Frank and Susan whose remarkable clinic and hospital care for the Maasai are experiences that we recommend highly.
A special thank you to our wonderful guide and teacher, Emmanuel “EMA” who treated us as fellow travelers not tourists and to “Mama Simba”, Sharon who designed our trip for June, 2013. What a great Birthday for us!
Susan and Joe
Orange County, California
Safari Dates: June 13, 2013 to June 21, 2013