“I hope you have an experience that alters the course of your life because, after Africa, nothing has ever been the same” – Suzanne Evans ?????????????
Did you know that elephants, the largest land animals on the planet, are among the most exuberantly expressive of creatures? Joy, anger, grief, compassion, love; the finest emotions reside within these hulking masses. Through years of research, scientists have found that elephants are capable of complex thought and deep feeling. In fact, the emotional attachment elephants form toward family members may even rival our own. Being able to witness these magnificent mammals in person, in their natural habitat, was for me nothing short of transcendent!
On the morning of my very first game drive, we watched the sunrise as we sipped on our coffee with Amarula (an amazing African liquor that tastes as good as sunshine feels). It is so quiet, that you hear the birds and insects waking up, you can almost even hear the leaves and blades of grass uncurling as the light touches each one of them.
Our guide decides to take us to one of the watering holes, and as we approach we see a large male elephant! We are told that he is most likely the “scout”, and if we are lucky…the rest of the herd might join him.
We marveled at this gentle giant, practically holding our breath, in complete awe. Within minutes, the rest of the herd slowly appeared over the hill. Mama’s & their babies, aunts, uncles, and cousins, all together.
They each quenched their thirst and then descended into the water to cool off. They PLAYED in the water as children would! Dunking each other and splashing with their trunks!
We were so mesmerized by what we were blessed to be witnessing, that we didn’t realize two latecomers were arriving to join the fun, directly to the left of our vehicle. They walked by us so close, that we could have touched them.
I’ve never felt so connected to nature. Such an adrenaline rush; but also so at peace, all at the same time.
A safari truly changes you. Africa is something everyone should experience — at least once in a lifetime!
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