On a hot and sticky summer night, when the cicada chorus has died and the lights from a passing electrical storm no longer dance on my bedroom walls, Africa comes calling. It is not the first time she has visited, and likely not the last.
Africa is a barefoot child, standing in the doorway of a cinderblock house, eating a red banana. She is a baby elephant following her hulking mother through the bush, flapping her ears and raising her trunk to trumpet in playful imitation. She is the whirl of color and motion at the bazaar, the pure-white crown of Kilimanjaro, the purple shuka (robe) of the Maasai.
In my mind her colors fade with time, but still they are more vivid than the rest.
My family’s first safari was in Tanzania, in East Africa, during the Great Migration. Like all good vacations, it was the kind of trip that changes how you look at the world and leaves you wanting more.
We returned to Africa the following year, this time to Johannesburg in South Africa, the jumping-off point for our safari in Botswana and Zambia.
Later, we combined a safari in Uganda with trekking to visit endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
On my fourth safari, I spent time in game reserves adjoining Kruger National Park in South Africa.
You can read my personal accounts of these trips--including "live" reports from the bush--by clicking any link below. But I should warn you in advance, no written report can do justice to these places.
A Grand Safari In TanzaniaPart 1: Gearing Up
Part 2: At First Sight
Part 3: Climbing Kilimanjaro
Part 4: Into the Bush
Part 5: Ahhh, Roughing It
Part 6: Children of the Maasai
Part 7: Africa's Garden of Eden
Part 8: The Great Migration
Part 9: Adrift Over the Serengeti
Part 10: The Grand Design
Safari in Southern AfricaPart 1: Return to Africa
Part 2: Lost and Found in Zambia
Part 3: Safari by Elephant
Part 4: On the Zambezi
Part 5: Over the Okavango Delta
Part 6: Khwai River Lodge
Part 7: Savute Elephant Camp
Uganda and RwandaPart 1: Edge of the Comfort Zone
Part 2: From Entebbe to Ndali
Part 3: From Kibale to Ishasha
Part 4: Tracking Gorillas in Rwanda
Part 5: Rwanda Renaissance
South AfricaPart 1: Who's Tracking Who
Part 2: Harmless Great Things
Part 3: Eating or Eaten?