Today I am a bit excited as I write this blog. First it’s because I bumped into a longtime friend of mine who we share a great history of our childhood moments. She later moved to the States with her parents and recently she came to tour her motherland and she was trying to explain her experience to me. Therefore, I am going to share her experience here because for a second it made me appreciate the fact that I am an African. Well, for lack of better words, it gave me a sense of belonging.
I believe that almost everyone from overseas who has done a tour to East Africa will tell you how great it was and all great experiences that come with East Africa. This is because Africa is renowned for being wild, authentic, spectacular and rugged and here is my friend’s story who kept wondering if it would live up to her expectations. She left Africa when she was 6, therefore Africa sounded so new to her.Her name is Maxwell and she went on a safari to Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania.
She decided to start describing the game viewing as according to her it was the most exciting moment of her tour. “Never would I imagine seeing so many animals in such a short period of time. In Rwanda we hiked deep into the forest to spend time with a Gorilla family – a Silverback, mature males and females, juveniles and babies! Watching these primates interact with each other and recognize us as friendly visitors truly made me believe in evolution.
We also trekked to see the Monkeys, an experience that filled me with the joy of a child. Watching these small monkeys swing, play, flight, feed and run through the jungle in their natural habitat was thrilling.
Then there was Serengeti- within less than an hour of arriving at the reserve we had seen, heard of zebras, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo, elephant, hippos and more! On an early morning game drive we saw a cheetah devouring its prey. We watched three, yes three leopards, a mother and her cubs feeding on a Thompson Gazelle in a tree. We watched as a lioness hunted down a warthog just as a snack.
That afternoon we spent watching a pride of lions walking for their evening hunt. We saw hyenas, which later that night, uninvited, visited our camp site. Then the very next morning we quietly observed a pride of lioness stalk a herd of buffalo and later spotted two male lions watching on the other side of the herd in wait.
In Ngorongoro crater we counted seeing nearly all the same animals again in one day. In Lake Nakuru we spotted Rhinos! We watched as a giraffe casually walked the length of the local air strip and our group followed a lioness and her three cubs as they started their evening hunt. In Lake Naivasha we walked, yes walked, with zebras, gazelles and more. We motored a boat past hippos and flamingos.
And the Maasai Mara had been just amazing, we saw beautiful herds of hoofed animals. We watched a pregnant cheetah finding a place to rest. What you would enjoy most is meeting the East African people”. Most are the times when you would get to learn of travel advisories against travelling to most parts of Africa. Unfortunately, these days terrorism is something that can happen anywhere and to anyone, if I can put it better it is a worldwide concern as we sadly see time and again.
The East African people are friendly, welcoming and respectful. They work together towards a brighter future and what will shock you is the Rwandese knowledge of ecotourism. East Africa is a place that anyone would most definitely feel safe throughout their travel.