Jun.

14

On Safari: Water for Elephants

This is episode 2 in the series On Safari. Missed the first episode? Read it here.

So, Pilot Joe has dropped us off in the middle of nowhere and our Ranger and Tracker have greeted us and loaded our luggage into the jeep for the ride to the safari camp…

Immediate observation: There are no street signs, no directionals….

You know where you are, but you really don’t and one thing is for sure, this is not a movie and this is not a fashion editorial…this is real life.

Welcome to your own private National Geographic experience…

Yeah, baby…welcome to wild kingdom, you’re now on their territory, visiting their home, and with their permission we can all co-exist safely.

The #1 rule when you are in the presence of the Big 5–the animals most notoriously dangerous to hunt–the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros and leopard is you must respect them at all costs.

The Big 5 have right-of-way, so don’t talk loudly or gesture wildly in their presence, basically you don’t move at all because the Big 5 don’t know you and this ain’t Disneyland.

But you’re there to hunt them, to see them up close and personal. And the game drives, which you will do every morning and early evening, are all about the thrill of the hunt…it’s a game of skill and of danger…but it’s exhilarating as hell when you hit the jackpot and there before your eyes is…

An elephant not even ten feet from where Pilot Joe dropped you off…

How lucky are we? She’s incredible…oh, look at her…look at Pretty Girl

Wait, what?

Our Ranger whispers to us that Pretty Girl is agitated, so we can’t drive or move at all because it will force her to charge the jeep.

Is she upset that we didn’t call first before dropping by?

Did we disturb her lunch?

And guess who’s on the side closest to Pretty Girl? Yep, that would be me.

I’m thinking: I’ve been here before, I’ve faced down an elephant or two in the past, so I don’t freak out when I see our Ranger slowly reach for his rifle…

Who am I kidding?

I am scared because I can see Pretty Girl’s agitation and she’s staring at me us.

So, we sit frozen…and frozen… and frozen…until Pretty Girl says we can go.

How do we know?

She starts eating! Which signals to our Ranger that she is cool, calm and collected, although I can’t say the same for me. I need a drink to calm my nerves!

EDITOR’S NOTE: I know I was suppose to talk about what to wear on safari, but maybe now you understand that looking fresh off the runway in Michael Kors or chic in Beretta doesn’t matter so much once Pilot Joe drops you off in the middle of nowhere…

Next: Wild Kingdom

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