Our African Adventure

Our Family Safari began with the spotting of 10 lion cubs and their mothers near a water hole. We were able to watch two of the lionesses unsuccessfully chase a warthog family for lunch.  This was just in the first hour of our landing at the airstrip on our way to Ngorongoro Crater and Lion’s Paw camp!  Immediately after that sighting, we came upon a cheetah hungrily eyeing a few impalas. Then in the distance a lone very large elephant appeared strolling purposefully toward an unknown destination. While we watched the elephant, the giraffes appeared as if on cue, then the zebras, impalas, Tommy gazelles, wildebeests, and countless other animals.  The birds put on their show with incredible displays of bright colors as they tried to outdo the furry four legged creatures.

The above barely describes our excitement and joy at seeing Africa’s offerings during our first hours on the ground. Our enthusiasm grew as we went through the days of our safari with Thomson and Arnold our drivers and excellent guides.  They answered all of our questions with thorough and  knowledgeable facts about any and everything we asked, like “What does that bird eat?”  “What is a termite mound made of?”  They even showed us what hyena poop looks like.  They shared the Swahili names for all the animals and birds and some of us were quite able to say the name for each animal before we left our Safari.

We entered each camp with a great sense of anticipation, wonder and surprise…that it could even be out there in the bush with all the conveniences, excellent food, caring and attentive attendants and hosts, and with the feeling of safety and comfort. Because of the size of our group (10) we were the only guests at a couple of the camps.  What an experience to feel as if it is your very own private place in paradise! It was amazing to see our “city” grandkids adapt so easily to their new environments at each place. The grownups managed very well also as they sampled the local refreshments at the camp bars.

The following note from our granddaughter, accompanied by a sketch of a leopard lounging in a tree, pretty much says it all about the joy and pleasure we experienced on our family African Dream Safari:

Dear Bibi and Babu, (Swahili for Grandma & Grandpa)

Asanta sana for the trip! It was by far the best trip in the world.  I had so much fun and learned a lot. I’ve seen things so amazing I’ll never forget them. I got to spend time with my grandparents and cousins. I had a wonderful time in a place that is impossible to forget.  I cannot say how thankful I am.

You took me to see God’s glorious creation and there are no words to thank you for that.  I made memories that I treasure far more than any trinket. The fact that I was in AFRICA still blows my mind. I have amazing tales and funny stories and I cannot thank you enough for that.  I love you.

That little note speaks volumes about our African adventure.  Our thanks and appreciation to you, Sharon, for all your work in coordinating and arranging every detail of our trip for 10 people from the time we set foot on the ground at Kilimanjaro until we boarded our plane back to the U.S.  Your guides, drivers, and hosts were exceptional and are commended for their attention and caring  manner for all of us. They were always cheerfully ready to go above and beyond to make our trip the best ever. While we absorbed the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangiri, Lake Manyara, Mara River, Lobo Game Reserve and the incomparable Maasai village near Buffalo Springs luxury camp, one might say they OVERACHIEVED, and we loved it!

These are our comments on the trip .  Our daughter Christine wrote a great description which you published earlier with the heading of “ 84 lions.”

Asante sana,

Ruth Ann and Bob R.
Accompanying us were Chris, Mark, Mason & Kylie Mark, Kathi, Elizabeth and Robert
Hobson, MT and Scottsdale, AZ
Safari Dates: July 17, 2013 to July 28, 2013

4 Responses to Our African Adventure

  1. Gary Nelson says:

    Awesome photos!!!

  2. Cherril Sparks says:

    Awesome photos! What kind of camera and lens did you use. Going on this trip next and can hardly wait.

    • Ruth Ann Rauscher says:

      We used 2 Canon cameras and 1 Nikon. All three had the 18-55mm zoom lens. The Nikon DX had 55-300zoom lens while the Canon EOS Rebel T2i had 55-250mm zoom. The other Canon Rebel was an earlier model with the same lenses as the T2i. Three of us were photographing with these cameras. We all strongly suggest keeping the lenses covered when not photographing and also cleaning the lenses often with the lens cleaner of your choice. It was dusty on the roads when we were there in July therefore our camera lenses were dusty.
      We also got some great shots with our small compact cameras!
      Have a great trip!

  3. Corine Bursheim says:

    What a wonderful trip for your family! The photos
    of all the animals is impressive to say the least. Your granddaughters comments were a real testament to a great trip as well. I just finished watching a Netflix series called “Wild at Heart” which I would highly recommend about an English family who developed a game farm in Africa and some of the names in your story were similar. Thanks for sharing. Corine

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