An African safari can give you life lessons besides a vacation
Judy became a nurse around the same time I became a travel agent with Monroe Travel Service. Over the years, we’ve talked a lot about how lucky we were both to have jobs that we loved, but then the covid happened on the scene. “It was pretty dark,” she said. “Today, I feel more like hanging around than taking care of my patients. It is all so crazy and sad to watch, which is why I choose to take the opportunity and run away in Africa. I want to have an adventure, maybe even see a lion or two, but, more importantly, I need to be in a place where the circle of life makes sense again. “
I understood: his soul was scarred. She needed to breathe again, but, as a friend and a travel agent for many years, I was worried. Game drives, especially with just a few months’ notice for a peak season date in August, could be hard to find. Usually the best trips for prime dates are sold out a year, sometimes two, in advance, but wait, what am I thinking? These are not normal times! I was able to find a fabulous 13 day safari in Kenya and Tanzania with only two months notice which I felt would give her the intimate adventure she wanted at a time in her life when she needed it most to be neat.
“So, have you seen a lion?” I asked when she called me to tell me about her trip.
“Oh, no,” she replied, and without hesitation, “I saw 19! Granted, I was probably like most of your travelers and too obsessed with the Big Five). To be honest, I thought that was the point of a safari, but I was so wrong. “
“An African safari is going to the land of the living, a place where staying alive is the only job. Whether you are walking, driving or stumbling in the bush, your senses are awakened to new smells, sudden movements. , new sounds or no sounds. You are like the animals that you observe. Everything is amplified. Even the stars seem closer. It is all so intoxicating, because everything is limited at that moment. “
Since some trips are not so much about what you see as what you learn along the way, I asked Judy to share some of the ideas or lessons she learned from her two weeks in the wilderness. of Africa :
- A safari resets your body clock: I never get up at 5:30 a.m., but since animals don’t like to sit in the hot African sun and because you want to have the best chance of seeing them at sunrise, that is what you do on safari. A safari constantly reminds you that Mother Nature, not you or your guide, is in charge, and the show begins at sunrise and subsides at sunset.
- Stress has no place on the plains of Africa. The only job of the animals is to stay alive, so most of the time life on the plains was very relaxing. Disconnecting from everything is also easy for you. By blending into the world of nature, the mind calms down. It’s good for the soul.
- A safari changes your perspective. A human tendency is to make a mountain out of a molehill. Sometimes we even look for differences, but watching zebras, giraffes, ostriches, warthogs, hyenas and hippos at a waterhole – all together – made so much more sense. It was so peaceful and serene.
- Animal sightings never get old; they only get better, when you least expect it nature surprises you. Yet, I’ll tell you, the main lesson a safari teaches is patience, especially since you have no control or choice over what goes on. What you want or expect often doesn’t happen, which is why you need to learn to be present and manage the moment you find yourself in.
- It is often better to listen than to speak. Whether it’s the sounds of the bush, the special language of the animals, or a lecture from the park warden or guide, being still is important. It helps you get in tune with what’s going on around you and discover the beauty of the little things. The Big Five cannot be missed, but there was also a plethora of amazing little creatures, birds, and plants to see on a safari.
- There is security in numbers. Animals, like impalas, elephants, baboons, water buffaloes, monkeys, hippos, and even guinea fowl, know this. They roam, huddle and hang in large numbers to avoid being killed by something higher in the food chain. The herd mentality is instinctive for the animals of Africa. This is the old Maasai tribal wisdom at work: “The sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. Only sticks can be broken by a child. It’s funny how animals understand that they will live longer and be safer if they stay together and we don’t.
A member of the Maasai tribe with 15 years as a guide and a degree in wildlife management stayed with us the entire time. He told us that the word “safari” was Swahili for “journey”, but it does not mean traveling from one place to another. Rather, he described a “safari” as being a spiritual journey, something that changes you, and that’s exactly how I feel about my trip to Africa.
During a safari, the child in me was able to come out and play again. Every day was new and different, full of surprises. My perspective changed and I saw the wonder in our world again.
By now I’m sure the infamous dust of his African safari has been washed from his clothes, but how pleasant the wonder of the best trip ever remains. If it’s time to go or maybe like Judy you just need to go somewhere you’ve never been before please call me at Monroe Travel Service. The Covid has taken so much from us. Do not let it take away the joy that awaits you on the many roads of our world.
Dianne Newcomer is a travel agent at Monroe Travel Service. For help with your next vacation, call 318 323 3465 or email [email protected] We would love to resend you!