African Safari – Exploring the Serengeti

African Safari – Day 4 & 5
Location: The Serengeti
Lodge: Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Monday in the Serengeti is unlike any Monday I have spent anywhere else in the world. It’s calm and there’s no real sense of time. It reminded me that there’s always more to life than just our own geographic bubble. And yet, somehow, over time, we tend to forget this. But we’re pack animals so it’s hard to feel otherwise.

Speaking of packs. As we drove, one of the guides imparted some of that interesting, random, useless forms of knowledge about what different packs of animals are called.  I took note in case I’m ever on Jeopardy some day because the group names might surprise you.

What is the name given to a group of..:

  • Chattering of starlings
  • Coalition of cheetahs
  • Leap of leopards
  • Tower of giraffes
  • Parliament of owls
  • Murder of crows
  • Cackle of hyenas
  • Crash of rhinos
  • Mustering of storks
  • Flamboyance of flamingos
  • Implausibility of Gnus (wildebeest)

For me, Africa was like a combination of being in two movies at any given time. These two films, as you might imagine, were “Jurassic Park” and “The Hunger Games.” At times when we were on a game drive and would spot a giraffe, I wanted to get out of the vehicle to walk up to this graceful, statuesque creature like they did in Jurassic Park upon first seeing the brontosaurus. But it’s not a good idea to exit the Land Rover in the middle of the Serengeti to approach any animal. In fact, because visitors remain in the vehicles the animals are more accepting of your presence than you might imagine. So we continued to observe each other, animal and human.

Throughout our travels, I had the sense that this corner of the world operates based on two mindsets. Approach #1: I make my reality. Approach #2: my reality makes me. It’s the difference between relying on and cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit that’s inside versus the idea that outside influences (in this case tourists) bring money and resources to me so that I can live.

Personally, I find the former to be much more empowering. But I also recognize that that’s largely because I come from a first world country. So my head understands that without any significant way to improve one’s immediate situation, my heart remains unsettled knowing the conditions of the collective community are unlikely to improve.

I don’t have answers. Just observations. Maybe one day through writing a book, public speaking, or my photographs I’ll be able to offer more of a contribution.

Photos captured on my Canon Rebel T5 lenses rented from Borrow Lenses.

Photos taken on my iPhone.

Hand’s down, the most random mammal we encountered on our safrai was the one you see pictured below: a Rock Hyrax. It’s like a combination of a giant mouse or rat without a tail. It’s really cute and kinda creepy at the same time because they were hovering just above the women’s restroom at a rest stop. I learned later they are (apparently) an ancient cousin to the elephant because they have small tusks. And, plot twist, they can jump.