Travel Quote Tuesday | Brian Jackman (Again)

Aah, safari!

It’s making me a little antsy to realise that it’s been a good few years since our last safaris to Kenya and Tanzania, and even longer since we visited Botswana, another of our favourite safari destinations.

There’s something so utterly compelling about visiting a place full of wildlife and flora, observing birds and animals up close in their habitats… The sheer beauty and wonder and excitement of the natural world is utterly thrilling.

A friend once said to me in all seriousness that he couldn’t see the attraction of going on more than one safari in his life because, “once you’ve seen the backside of one elephant, haven’t you seen them all?” I was flabbergasted, thinking immediately of an afternoon in Kenya during which we spent hours watching a single herd of elephants… observing their gentle interactions with each other, seeing the family dynamics at play, watching them feeding, resting, playing with each other, even grumping around… and it was a wrench to have to leave when it was time to return to camp at end of the day. It was an unexpected encounter; we saw the large herd moving slowly in the distance and our guide, keen to ensure we didn’t disturb them or discourage them from their path, turned off the engine and we sat quietly watching from afar. To our surprise, the herd turned off its path and slowly plodded towards us, perhaps they wanted to watch us just as much as we wanted to watch them? And so we ended up right in their midst, and we stayed there together for the rest of the afternoon.

People often talk about the African Big Five – Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino and Leopard – and seeing these animals is always a huge pleasure. But the term was coined by big-game hunters, grouping together those animals hardest to hunt on foot. For me, there are so many other animals that are just as wonderful to see…

The lithe gracefulness of Cheetahs, watching their spotted coats ripple as they stalk through the grass and marvelling at their muscles when they burst into a full speed chase, or being utterly charmed by the spiky haired fluff of cheetah cubs… the cheerful antics of a herd of Zebra or Giraffe, noisy and boisterous and impossible to watch without laughing… or the myriad beautiful birds from tiny Little Bee Eaters, snuggled together on a branch to the ungainly comedy walk of Saddle Billed Storks… the heart-warming family bonds of the much maligned Hyena and the sadly endangered Wild Dog, especially if you are lucky enough to see them at a den site or see the adults work together on a hunt… the fabulous fat waddle of Hippotamuses on land, or just their nostrils, eyes and ears showing above the water line as they cool themselves from the hot sun… And I particularly love the thrill of seeing smaller animals; they are often so much harder to spot… porcupines, jackals, bat-eared foxes, dik-dik, servals and caracals, bush babies… and all manner of rodents, lizards, insects and snakes.

(c) Kavita Favelle - Brian Jackman - Kenya2

These two cheetah brothers living in Kenya’s Masai Mara often took up mirrored poses when they paused to rest or to look around. Once grown, male brothers often stay together and will also form coalitions with other unrelated males. Females tend to be solitary unless they still have young offspring with them.

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24 Comments to "Travel Quote Tuesday | Brian Jackman (Again)"

  1. Danielle

    A safari sounds like such a cool adventure. I’ve never seen an elephant up close except at the zoo…. And the cats…I would love to see the cats! It sounds like such an awesome experience, I just wish it wasn’t so pricey 🙂

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yeah it is pricy, but I’d rather save up longer if it means there is money spent on conserving the habitats and wildlife. Plus the smaller camps in Botswana are wonderful to visit as you really feel you are in the wilderness, there are few visitors in each area and it’s an incredible experience. In some places, it seems like the tourists and tourist vehicles outnumber the animals by 10 to 1!

    Reply
  2. Vy Nguyen

    This is a nice article about the nature. Your story makes me want to explore the safari right away. It is true that the nature is so diverse. There are many things to see in the wildlife.Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful experience.

    Reply
  3. Tracie Howe

    What a great travel quote! Haha! I’ll have to share that with my friend who lives in Africa to see if she’s heard it. An African safari is on my bucket list! I can already tell you that I’d be happy to do more than one!

    Reply
  4. Gingey Bites

    What a wonderful trip down memory lane and a quote which fits it perfectly too. I went on safari to Kruger in 2009 and we loved it so much. Your words have reminded me of our own experiences and I think I’ll go now and look at my photos from that trip.

    Reply
  5. Fiona Maclean

    We do all have a need to take time to look around these days – I love the elephant backside example because to me it encapsulates the worst of travel trends – tickbox travel. Once you slow down a bit, there is so much beauty to be seen.

    Reply
  6. Kacie Morgan

    I’d love to go on safari, especially in South Africa. For some time now, I’ve longed to swim in the Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls, Zambia, so I’d be able to cross two things off my bucket list all at once 🙂

    Reply
  7. neha

    ha ha.. what a beautiful and true quote. Whenever we think of Africa the first thing that comes to mind is a safari. And I really can’t imagine a trip there without doing a safari in it.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes indeed. I know there is much much more to the many countries of this continent, but the wildlife safari is what has bitten me hard!

    Reply
  8. Suruchi

    I haven’t done any safari till day so really can’t say what the experience will be like.But your words have already helped me in making a mind to take one soon. And this picture is really awesome. Loved it.

    Reply
  9. Sandy N Vyjay

    I loved the quote and can identify with it. The thrill of being in the wilderness of Africa and seeing the wildlife in their natural environs is an experience beyond compare. Yes the Safari Bug is the most dangerous of all and is guaranteed to infect you for life.

    Reply
  10. kaveyeats

    A lot depends on what style you want to safari and what budget too.
    For me, Botswana’s small, remote safari camps are incredible, but they are expensive too as you need to fly between them. The wildlife viewing is incredible, and the feeling of really being in the wilderness with few other people.
    Kenya and South Africa and Tanzania all offer both the high end safari as well as some mid range options, you can stay in small camps with game drives in small open vehicles, or you can stay in larger lodges with minivan style game drives. The latter still gives a wonderful experience, even if less tailored or intimate.
    South Africa and Botswana are also good choices for self-drive safaris, in Botswana that’s not applicable for all safari regions but for some it’s very feasible. In South Africa, many of the reserves have high standard self-catering or catered accommodation camps within the parks. We’e done this too and loved it, and we particularly liked how this forced us to look in a different way as we needed to identify animals and birds, sometimes with only small differences between two species!
    I have also been to Namibia which I love, it has very different landscapes on top of wildlife viewing opportunities.
    I’m yet to go to Zambia or Zimbabwe, both of which are on my wishlist.

    Reply

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