Our friend and client, Art Rorex, is featured in our blog today with his thoughts and favorite memories of last year's safari.
When Barry and Cathy invited me to do a photo essay on East Africa I gladly accepted. Then (in a rare lucid moment) I realized that producing such an essay is akin to explaining the meaning of life in 100 words or less -- it can be explained but to be really appreciated it must be experienced. I've been fortunate enough to have visited East Africa three times -- I don't understand it but I certainly appreciate it.
An East African safari is more than the Serengeti. Before reaching the wildlife, you must travel through the countryside. While the major cities may seem familiar the countryside is a different and interesting world. Once there, you will find the safari camps more comfortable than expected. They may look like Teddy Roosevelt's camps but Teddy didn't have hot showers and flush toilets in his tents. Since wildlife is most active at dawn and dusk the safari day will start before sunrise. Although your attention will be focused on the large animals -- especially the 'Big Five' -- one of the first things you will notice is the birds. In addition to resident birds, thousands of migratory birds pass through the region. Birds are everywhere. As time passes you will encounter a wide range of wildlife -- large and small, far and near (sometimes very near). If you are lucky you will see some of the rarest animals in Africa. If you are really lucky, you may see some of them together. One thing is certain, you will see lions. Large and small, far and near. Usually interesting; always magnificent. You may also see the migration crossing the Mara River. Over two million animals are in the migration but since it's made up of widely dispersed small groups it can be hard to witness a crossing. On my third visit we finally saw one -- about 5,000 animals crossing the Mara River within 50 feet of our truck. Unbelievable. Unforgettable.
Sooner or later all things end. Each of my photo safaris was extremely enjoyable and all too brief. Nevertheless, the memories last.