What the word safari really means
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a traveler in possession of a desperate desire for adventure, must be in want of a safari. A safari in Tanzania, of course.😃
I hope miss Austen will forgive me for borrowing one of the most famous incipits in the entire history of literature as well as my blasphemy one day.
I am kidding, of course, but it fitted so well with what I was thinking, that I could not resist the temptation to use it. How? I am going to explain.
I’ve always loved travelling and I visited a lot of countries in my life.
I think that travelling is the best way of discovering new cultures, to improve one’s view of things, to open one’s mind. And it worked on me. Maybe this is one of the reasons why I decided to take a degree in foreign literatures.😊
But, while reading a book is certainly a great experience and gives us the opportunity of knowing points of view and different characters, travelling puts us directly into the game. It’s real. We can touch things, see and participate actively. There’s nothing comparable.
As we manage a safary company, Moody and I are always out in search for new accomodations, new corners, new ways of giving an unforgettable memory to our clients and we are often in Serengeti or Ngorongoro or any other park we need to visit.
During the years, we’ve witnessed a lot of situations. Funny, amazing, scary sometimes.
A safari is a special kind of trip.
It’s not uncommon we find ourselves in singular circumstances while we plow the savannah far and wide.
I will share a couple of these circumstances.
The first time that we had to manage a difficult situation we were in Serengeti. We were going around quietly when a rather nervous elephant 🐘 stood in front of us. It was shouting at us and moving his ears furiously.
It wasn’t going to let us pass and it was gigantic. I had a moment of panic, I admit, but Moody managed the situation in an admirable way by stopping the car and waiting for our new friend to calm down a bit, believing that our intentions were not bad. It did.
It stopped his ears, turned and went away magically as it appeared. I looked at Moody with a smile, but above all with a very thankful and respectful look. His cold blood was instrumental in solving the situation.
The second time I remember as a difficult moment was one December.
We were in the middle of the savannah almost at sunset and managing to go back to the camp before the sun disappeared completely. It had rained during the day and we found ourselves stuck in the mud.
While Moody was taking care of the car, I was looking outside the car window, admiring the environment. A cheetah and a hyena were strolling quietly.
What a landscape! Only when I heard Moody’s voice calling the camp, I realized we couldn’t move at all. He explained that we needed to wait for the staff of the camp to come and pick us up with another car.
Darkness was thick at that point. No noises, apart from those coming from nature. We waited almost 2 hours: the rescuers were having the same problems that we had had in avoiding the mud.
At last they arrived. They couldn’t ‘park’ near us, so they did some 30/40 meters away and came, walking.
The real situation was taking shape into my head. They would surely ask me to walk with them on the way back to their car.
I freezed.🥶 It took them 35 minutes to convince me that they were going to protect me with their lives, if necessary, to escort me safely and at the end I got out of our car and followed them.
That night, I thanked God a good number of times and went on thanking for a couple of days all the guys that had been involved in our rescue.😊😊
The following evening I had a close encounter with a hyena (another one) in the camp.
After the spine-chilling experience of the night before, I obliged Moody to return to the camp an hour before sunset.
He’s always around speaking with someone before dinner and I had just finished to take my shower when I decided to go outside the tent to relax and to enjoy the last sun rays.
Outside the tents there are always some lounge chairs for this purpose, but I couldn’t take advantage of them. The above mentioned hyena was walking just in front of me.
I thought that I could relax inside the tent and abandoned the place with a speed that could have competed with that of a runner. This kind of situation is the reason why, during the night, nobody can leave their tent for ANY circumstance.
If you need something or have an emergency, you must use a torch to call for the Maasai men who guard the camp during the night. They will come promptly and help you.
I could go on with other examples, but I think you have understood. This doens’t mean that you risk your life: the guides and the staff working in the camps are really professionals and, unless you decide to behave dangerously, you can have a perfectly safe experience. And what an experience! I don’t think there’s nothing that can be compared with the emotions that a safari can give. Nothing. It’s absolutely worth trying.😜😜