Eight Things to Make a Safari Complete
By: Tom Martorelli
1. Go Wild!
Every day on a Road Scholar adventure is full of activity. But even with a packed itinerary, surprises are always on the agenda. One afternoon, during our Wild Africa program, we were asked if we wanted to see a rhinoceros or two. You can imagine our enthusiasm, even if the rhinos seemed less than impressed.
Some lessons were from the distant past. “This is a record of incidents which occurred…with people of the interior, in order to…reproduce the feelings which animated me in endeavouring to open up Africa to the sympathies and succor of Christians in more favoured lands.” - David Livingstone, 1st January, 1854.
Many of our best moments were spent with the people we met on our daily adventures. Conversations taught us much about their lives, but a few of us went the extra mile to create more active communication. Whenever we did, there was never a shortage of willing participants.
Sundowners, that great tradition of ending each day with a toast to everyone and everything, gave us some of our best chances to relax and reflect. Some sundowners were more ornate than others, but even the most casual ones included the key elements of vistas, friendship, and fun.
One of the many great guides at Mfuwe Lodge in the South Luangwa Valley is Peter Zulu – also the Headman at nearby Mambwe Village. He brought us there one afternoon for a local celebration of international friendship. The villagers got the party started, but it wasn’t long before everyone joined in the fun.
Even with the action-packed daily itineraries put together by program leader Lisa Reed, there was still free time for us to select adventures of our own. Riding a zip line across one of Victoria Falls’ gorges may or may not be your choice, but the views – and the ride – are breathtaking.
Almost lost in the excitement of our other activities was a visit to the world’s largest waterfall, one of David Livingstone’s greatest discoveries. The roar of its mighty waters could be heard for miles around. But its scenic beauty inspired quiet contemplation of nature’s wonders, beyond the people and wildlife of Africa.
One of the most spectacular sunsets of our lives.
To read other stories from our Road Scholar safari program, “Wild Africa: Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe,” check out my blog, The Zambezi River Current.
Thanks for reading!