Safari: A Long Way from Brooklyn

Who said you can't take the city out of the boy? During my service as a cadet-midshipman on a freighter sailing to Africa, I jumped at the opportunity to "take the city out" by going on safari!

In the morning before going on safari, I would look out on the vast plain and it took my breath away. It was a sight, smell, and sound like no other I had ever experienced. In the chill of the evenings we relaxed and compared our safari notes around a campfire, listening to the unfamiliar, haunting sounds of the African night.

Wildlife is spread across what seemed like a never-ending sea of open plain, and the plain teemed with wildlife?lions, elephants, zebras, leopards, hyenas, wildebeest, hippos, cheetahs, giraffes, warthogs, African buffalos, and antelopes of all shapes and sizes.

There also seemed to be an infinite variety of bird life, not least of which were the commonly known flamingo, starlings, and pelicans. An incredible diversity of the flora blended so beautifully with some of the finest birding that I had ever seen.

Against that backdrop our days were filled with guided game drives and safari walks. The scariest outing of the safari occurred when we came across a herd of bull elephants and I guess we got too close; they spooked.

Our safari was fortunate to have witnessed a lion kill. Speaking of lions reminds me of a subject that has always intrigued me and that has to do with lions killing their young. Yes, I know what you are thinking—what parent hasn't had the urge? If the subject intrigues you too, White Sails offers an informative discussion on why.

The safari adventure, even a camera safari, is like stock trading; not for the faint of heart. The rewards of a safari trek through a virtually untouched game reserve are worth the hassle, and yes, even the risks.