The thing that no one ever tells you about an African Safari is that it can be as uneventful as it can be exciting. The adrenaline you can work up just thinking about your first safari can mean that your heart is racing long before you get there.
About an hour into the drive things may start to change. What was extraordinary – that antelope, zebra or baboon – you saw in the wild for the first time only moments ago can start to feel less special when you’ve spotted it for the third time around.
It’s then that you will realize that a safari is not like a zoo. The animals you may have your heart set on seeing won’t be sitting around awaiting your arrival.
But if it helps I can promise you that however long it takes, the euphoria that overcomes you when you do will be worth it. In that moment when you are looking exactly where the guide is pointing and still can’t see the animal he swears is right under your nose, your heart will drop. But then you will spot it and the heart clutching and mouth covering and heart racing will take over as you snap a million photos realizing that the elephant or cheetah or lion is even more regal than you’d imagined.
In that moment you’ll be glad you didn’t make the mistake that so many do – giving up after. Few hours or even a few days. The animals are out there and it’s only a mater of time before you see them. Funny enough, the longer it takes, the more rewarding it will feel.
And I promise you that in that moment – when it’s right there in front of you, neither afraid nor enraged – that you’ll realize nothing could’ve ever prepared you for that incredible moment when that incredible animal locks eyes with yours and begins to head your way.
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This post reminds of our trip to the Amazon. Our guide pointed out so many animals that we never saw and eventually we just handed him the camera to take the photo so we could search for the animal later. And I don’t see how people can hike for hours in the jungle without a tripod and still manage to take decent photos and video. My videos were so shaky just from being exhausted! I’ll have to bookmark this post for when we eventually go on an African safari :)
That story makes me smile Christa. That would’ve been so frustrating! Lucky for us our patience was always eventually rewarded. Wishing you better luck for your next safari!