There's nothing like your first time -- first time taking a safari, that is. Deciding to do one is easy (yes, a resounding yes), but picking a destination is more difficult -- what with a long list of magnificent countries to choose from.
If you're American, the fantastic exchange rate is the primary reason to go to SA now. With the conversion rate currently at 12.5 rand to the dollar and rising, your money will stretch further than ever before.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, I spent a lot of December exploring Zimbabwe. I knew I was interested in the country and was pretty sure I would like it but I have to say I was absolutely blown away, I LOVED it.
When I told my friends and family that I'd decided to take my eldest daughter on a two-week safari, they expressed great fear and concern about two women traveling to such a "dangerous place" on our own. I'm glad we didn't listen to them
Though I had no one close to share the memories with, I was able to focus more clearly on what makes the experience so memorable. There is something about connecting with nature in such a profound way that forces you see things from a new perspective.
Africa's elephants face an unprecedented poaching siege. It's a crisis of global significance that the U.S. government is taking action against -- and one in which safari ecotourism plays an important role, undergirding the value for local communities of keeping elephants alive.
This past summer I spent 3 weeks exploring Zambia and I loved it. It not only offers great game-viewing and stunning scenery but also has maintained an uncrowded, authentic, down-to-earth safari experience that is really unique and increasingly hard to find.
A gin and tonic quaffed next to a four-foot high termite mound tastes extra crisp and delicious.The vibration of the Jeep over the pits and gullies and watering holes of the bush lulls you into the same rhythmic gait the larger mammals adapt.
Although I cannot explain why, I was so moved by this school and these girls -- their personal stories made me cry but their smiles warmed my heart -- I know that I was there for a reason and I was meant to do something with these feelings.
I've cared for dozens of these animals over the years, neglected and discarded exotic pets I've helped to rescue and recover. This is really part of the hope and the magic of this journey: to see animals where they truly belong.