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Safari 2012 part I: 1st Reflections

November 12, 2012

Tanzania ~ where to begin?  Creatures great and small living free, vast open spaces, want and plenty, timeless cycles, life & death & life.  I am moved, shaken, lifted up, and humbled.  We saw immense herds of wildebeest participating in the last extant Great Migration on the planet.  We watched one black rhino trying his best to persuade another to add one more to the pitiful few left in the world.  Tanzania has treasures invaluable, inexpressible, and to its credit even if by external persuasion, protected for the future.

To answer the first question, no, we did not go to Zanzibar.  Italy has beaches and decaying European cities.  It does not have lions, elephants, giraffes, Cape buffalo, leopards, cheetahs, dikdiks, antelopes, gazelles, hyraxes, baboons, wildebeest, zebras, or the menagerie of other creatures we visited.

To answer the second question, yes, we saw the Big Five.  It is, in fact, an archaic classification, instituted during the colonial period by big game hunters for the five most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt on foot.  These being the lion, the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, the leopard, and the rhinoceros.

All photos credit: cvl, unless otherwise noted

So, just an appetizer, as it were, as I continue to process the experiences as well as the documentation.  Digital photography has changed the way we travel and record and remember.  We can know in the moment if the shot is good, or at least good enough, and take so many that certainly one will be good.  We begin reliving the thing immediately, half-way between the moment and being so far away from it that it all seems surreal.  Yes, now, in my living room with the tiny house panther at my side, Africa feels like a dream.

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