What is a safari?

What is a safari?   ‘What is a safari’ is probably the most commonly asked question people ask about going to Africa to experience wildlife and culture.  In KiSwahili “safari” means journey.   Going out on safari means adventure, wildlife, cultural exploration, and so much more.  There is really no other experience like it.

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Coming upon a scene like this, with the elephant waking down the road is common while “on safari.”  Actually, you never quite know what you will see in terms of wildlife.

_DSC0508We watched these elephants for a long while. They were actually debating whether to come over to us or slide down a muddy bank of a nearby river (we were actually backed up to the river).  Wildlife and nature being what they are, one is always ready for a show.  One of these elephants came right up to our safari vehicle and we all sat down on our seats.

IMG_1747Safaris are also about friendship.  This is Richard and me on safari last summer. While on safari you really get to know your safari guide.  Richard was the first Red Rhino safari driver guide nearly twenty years ago.  Richard knows wildlife like the back of his hand, and gets safari goers close to the animals. Richard knows animal behavior and has many stories to tell.


Very close!  This lion was actually mating.  We came upon him and his significant other after a string of amazing wildlife sightings (that I will post on some time).  After we stumbled upon them, we soon ran into the rest of the lion pride–an additional fifteen lions for a total of seventeen!  I look forward to sharing more with you on this series I call What is a Safari?




Giraffe Fight

We came upon these two seemingly fine long necked friends but after a few clicks of the camera we realized that they were going to brawl _DSC0095


The giraffe’s neck is so long that when it swings it looks a lot slower than it actually is and the force is much greater.  Its not uncommon for giraffe’s to get broken jaws and even necks.


When we were watching the giraffes slam each other with their necks it looked like they were taking turns–a very odd sight.  In reality, the giraffe can’t swing its neck and jump at the same time so we were given the impression that they were taking turns to give and receive blows.




The giraffe headlock works wonders too…



and nothing like getting a leg up


and thankfully posing for the camera

“Lilac-Breasted RRRRRRoller”

_DSC0257I took this picture of the the “Lilac-Breasted Roller” on safari last summer in Kenya while we were stopped trying to cross a small creek.


Safari goers (myself included) are always commenting on the beauty of the the Lilac-Breasted Roller.  On the first safari I led in Africa, our guide Richard was asked “what is that bird called!” and responded with rolling rrrrrrr’s “The Lilac Breasted RRRRRRoller!”  That has always stayed with me.  Richard told us that it is “the national bird of Tanzania.”  Later I learned it is actually the ‘national bird’ of Botswana. National bird or not, nothing can take away from the sheer beauty of the bird.  A washed out green large head, yellowish legs, outer webs of the flight feathers and backside are brilliant violet, pale blueish green outer tail feathers, white chin, lilac breast feathers, blueish green underparts, black bill and brown eyes, and other colors that seem to come out with the light, makes this bird an amazing spectacle.  I can hear Richard,all of these years later,  saying the name…”Lilac-Breasted RRRRRRoller!”