One of the best and worst things about living in Africa as an expatriate is the speed at which the unexpected happens. Just going to the shops, out of nowhere I was faced with a tribunal of very young Muslim girls curious about Muzungus (white people). They had lots of the kind of questions that only children have the innocence to ask, such as am I hairy all over and if they rub my skin will it turn theirs white. Occasionally these random riptides in the flow of your day evolve rapidly into what I can only describe as adventures. In the fall, I had one of these adventures that makes Africa for me.
Full days in the parks followed one of two patterns: separate morning and late afternoon drives (the norm) or an all-day drive with a picnic lunch in the park. As you’ll see later, though, some of those picnics were pretty impressive. Our first full day in Tarangire, aka Day 2, was a two-drive day, and our second (Day 3) was an all-day adventure. The pictures you’ll see with this post will be a small (very small!) selection of the many shots from those two days.
When I first interviewed for my job at AWF, I was told that I may, on occasion, be asked to travel to Africa for work. No one ever told me I’d be expected to go to Idaho, too. But there I was last Thursday, crawling out of my soft, warm bed and leaving my family at 5 in the morning to catch a plane to Sun Valley, Idaho. For work.
I won’t pretend to remember every animal or even species we saw every day, especially when it comes to birds, but here’s at least a partial look at our first afternoon of wildlife viewing.
Let’s just say I’m really glad I’m short and leave it at that, because I can’t imagine being tall and taking such a long flight in such a small seat. But as with all amazing journeys – and trust me, this trip was the very definition of amazing – all the rigors of travel were forgotten when we landed at last at Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha, Tanzania. Just the words sound magical, and that’s another very accurate way to describe our trip, as you’ll see.