Staffer Kendra recently returned from a Classic Safari. We asked her about the experience, and she summed it up with a letter to our favorite country in Africa.
In reflecting upon the two weeks I spent on safari, I wanted to take a moment to share my gratitude with you. This was an adventure unlike any I’d had before.
It’s been one thing getting to speak with guests every day about how amazing you are, but it was entirely different to actually experience you.
It was like being transported back in time. Between your unique landscapes and the regal movement of the giraffes, it almost seemed prehistoric. Not once did I feel that these animals were here for my enjoyment. I truly felt that I was in the middle of their world – witnessing group dynamics and social hierarchies, non-verbal communication, and inter-species interactions. There were moments that were unlike anything I could have imagined.
My senses came alive on this trip. I’ve never been so in tune with my sight and hearing. I was noticing animals that no one else was spotting. I was recognizing distinct sounds and figuring out exactly where to look to find the source. It was thrilling hearing elephants in the distance and running from my tent with binoculars to spot an enormous herd. I was in suspense witnessing a solo wildebeest cautiously trot past a tree where a leopard once sat while the rest of its group watched – silent and still with vigilant eyes.
While the wildlife viewing was exhilarating, it was the warm interactions with your people that really left a lasting impression. Never before have I felt so welcomed by the people of another country. From the guides and camp staff, to the Maasai and other cultural groups, every interaction felt meaningful and genuine. There was something so comforting about hearing “welcome, sister” and seeing a smiling face at every corner. Numerous conversations with Maasai afforded me more insight into the different ways we view aspects of life than any textbook could.
People told me going on safari changes your life, but I could not have anticipated the effect it would have on me. It was not that I came back as a completely new person but rather that I continue to subtly notice how my safari changed me for the better. This journey has given me a new perspective on the world I live in. I felt connected to this Earth in a way I’ve never experienced before, and I now have a greater appreciation for the resources, wildlife and environment around me. After only a few days into the trip, I was already envisioning returning one day accompanied by those who are most important to me. This really is an experience one has to live to understand. I feel honored that I get to assist others in going on this adventure.
Tanzania – you felt like home, and I truly appreciate you sharing all that you are with me.