Sunday, September 09, 2007

Beautiful Botswana

I get it. Now I understand the look people have when they describe visiting Africa and they get that dreamy gaze in their eyes. I know now that they are remembering: sunsets that are as brilliant red as a fireball, vistas that go as far as the eye can see, the wonder of sharing space with the Big 5 in their natural environment, and the warm hospitality that totally envelopes you.
Roger and I finally got a chance to visit mainland Africa and spend some time together. We started off in Botswana, a country we only knew about through reading Alexander McCall Smith’s series “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency”. While the locals cringe when you tell them that’s where we learned about Botswana, the books were true to form when describing the landscape and the gracious mannerisms of the people. Here we spent 2 nights in a game reserve sleeping in tents and getting our first real taste of Africa. And these were not just tents like we’ve pitched while camping. These tents had full bathrooms, big duvets, and a view of the river where you could hear the hippos splashing at night.

We took an early morning game drive which gave us our first experience of seeing many of the animals we’ve only viewed in zoos as well as being introduced to species we had never seen before. Graceful giraffes, comical warthogs, and the majestic Kudu (similar to our elk) – known as the “Gray Ghost” because they silently disappear the moment you avert your eyes, were some of our favorites. And check those ears - they are like satellite dishes!

We also spent a few hours sitting in a blind by a watering hole where we could observe animals close up coming for water.

Our first "taste" of Africa was fantastic!

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