Africa, Safari

A typical day on safari (AKA how to fall in love with Africa)

Quite often, when I meet people at dinner parties, they’re rather cynical about my passion for African safaris, so rather than giving the standard spiel about the night I got stalked by a lion, the way I try to explain to them (convert them to the safari cause) is by telling them about a typical day on safari.

06:00- Wake up. Normally 6am is unacceptably early. I’m generally pulling the duvet covers back over my head and ignoring whoever is attempting to talk to me. On safari I’m lured up by the waft of fresh African coffee and the beaming smile with which it is delivered to my tent.

06:15- On back of open four wheel drive for game drive. Bit chillier than my bed. Air smells of damp dust. Oddly excited.

ame drive in the Masai Mara from Offbeat Mara
Game drive from Offbeat Mara, Kenya

11:00– Back at camp. Can you believe it? We saw a leopard and a family of elephants and had a proper cooked breakfast in the bush.  And an eagle stole my bacon, and we passed a lion cub but it didn’t care, and did you know giraffes don’t make a sound? And, and, and….

13:30- Gosh this lunch is fun. The pasta’s scrumptious, the wine is good, and I really shouldn’t have laughed at that story I just heard but I couldn’t help it and now my sides hurt.

14:45- On bed. Nap is nothing short of utterly languorous.  Half way through I woke up up blissfully warm, utterly relaxed, and listened to the crunch of an ellie eating branches outside my room. Not 100% sure if this is real or a slightly sleepy dream.

16:30- Tea done, cake eaten, off on game drive. Anticipation in the air. Fingers crossed we see a rhino.

Safari sundowners
Sundowner with RPS in Zambia

18:30- Not the remotest sign of a rhino all afternoon. I wanted to see a rhino. Fortunately we saw baby ellies. And while I’m not the sort to repost pictures of adorable animals on Facebook, baby ellies really are implausibly cute. Did you know when they get tired they suck their trunks like a human sucks their thumb? And they rest their trunks on their tusks when they get sleepy? Anyway, right now the sun’s going down, and we’ve stopped to perch on the bonnet of our landrover. Cold beers and cashew nuts, looking out over golden grasses and setting sun. The world is OK.

20:00- Back in camp. Showered under the stars. Sharing dinner with my guide, and some fascinating guests. Roughly this is the best dinner party I’ve ever been to.

23:00 – To bed- night!

23:15- Noises outside. Is that definitely a hippo? Or a lion who might want to eat me…?

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