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Safari Dreams

07 Sep Posted by in Jody Cole | Comments Off on Safari Dreams
Safari Dreams

Africa can be a dream vacation, as it was for me. I thought I would just go, check it off my ‘bucket list’ and come home. But what happened to me is what happens for so many of my guests on safari. They walk through a door they never can, nor want to, close again. Once you have been touched by the world outside of our bubble of Western Civilization, the way you live your life once you return may never be the same.

When you walk into a grocery store in, say, Arusha and compare it to the experience of a local Safeway in San Francisco, you become acutely aware of the world of mass marketing and desire we are constantly bombarded with here in the States. And even though you know, you’ve heard of, you realized before going that your life is so different that other lives being lived all over the world, the actual experience of that difference is mind altering. And the result, more often than not, is a newly found inner joy.

The resilience, strength and joy of the African people is palpable. It is not based on things, on the latest app, or the newest car. It is the joy that comes from greeting the sun on a warm savanna, hearing the morning doves, smelling fresh coffee brewed over an open flame, being part of the world instead of standing off at a distance; this joy, our birthright, is here staring you right in the face, and wells up in your heart.

There is a slower pace of life in Africa. We might call it “stopping to smell the roses”. It is everywhere. There is no place more important to be than right here. Even the impala will glance off at the hunting lioness with indifference. “What will be, will be.” The African people stare life straight in the face with every waking moment, while so often we Westerners are so busy worrying about the future, we miss that small monkey by the side of the road, the cheetah in the shadows of the thorn bush, or the call of a distant go-away bird.

By the end of our short immersion into this living, breathing world, we too are more aware of our own breathing, our own fragility, and our own joy. This is the experience so many of us long for and that is waiting for us, in Africa. It is not only a dream vacation but the living of the dream itself.

Jody Cole is Owner and Licensed Field Guide at Wild Rainbow African Safaris. Wild Rainbow  is a boutique adventure travel company specializing in safaris to sub-Saharan Africa. Providing gay and lesbian travelers and their friends and families with a safe and comfortable safari while indulging them with customized service, exceptional lodgings, and  amazingly close contact with the wildlife, culture and spirit that is Africa.

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