This weekend, Saturday through Tuesday, we went on SAFARI!!!!! I asked one of our drivers what safari means in swahili… he told me it means safari, just in case you were wondering. Actually though, from someone else, I heard that it means adventure, which is very fitting. The drivers were awesome… so funny, so funny. My first driver, Maluta, referred to himself as “the KING” and he was too rich. He actually did my hair on Monday which was a very interesting experience- I kept it in the rest of the day, picture to follow.
Seeing all the animals was AMAZING. The first day we went to Ngorongo Crater, a collapsed volcano that is now the perfect ecosystem for a plethura of organisms to survive- it seems to be a utopia where the animals do not need to travel in herds because the prey is plentiful. The views from anywhere, above or below the crater, were breathtaking. For most of the time all I felt I could do was stand in silent awe at God’s creation. We were almost trampled by an elephant, saw a lake made pink by flamingos, viewed a hyena on the prowl for weakened prey, and saw the first of many zebra stripes. The night ended at the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge, a beautiful hotel, much too nice for our dirty bodies.
The next few days we were in the Serengeti. Our firsts experiences with wildlife in the Serengeti were, for me, the highlight of the safari. When we stopped at the first (of very few) rest stops, we were greeted by a herd of elephants who, at times, were no further than 5 feet from us. It was crazy and amazing. Those giant animals and their grace blow my mind. Shortly after that, we saw a different, larger, herd of elephants taking mud baths, with lions watching them from a distance. We got so close to their fun and could sense the relief that the mud gave them from the hot Serengeti sun. For the next two nights we stayed at the Serengeti Safari Lodge, where we stayed in luxurious safari huts and had to have guards walk with us at night to and from dinner due to frequent animal encounters (we only saw Thompson Gazelle and Water Buffalo close by during the day, but they have seen a cheetah attack and lions there before).
The list of animals we encountered goes on and on and on: black rhino (extinct except for in the crater), hippos, lions, elephants, gazelle, wildebeest, baboons, leopards, warthogs, crocodiles, dik diks, weird birds, hyena, giraffes and many more.
The whole time I could not help but think of Psalm 8:3, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” To think that the same God who created the glorious Serengeti sunrises and sunsets, the mountainous and majestic views of the Ngorongoro region, and who gave the zebra it’s stripes, also cares for me is something I have a hard time wrapping my mind around, but it gives me so much comfort. This experience has made want to experience and explore more of our beautiful planet so I can truly feel the awe of embracing the artwork that comes from our Creator’s fingertips.
Until next time,
Duma du ma ma maaaaa