Memories of Africa (Part 3)

Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

In the fall of 2011, my daughter and I traveled to Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. To read “Memories of Africa (Parts 1 and 2),” please see the previous two posts.

The rock that moved

The rats in our tree house were quit tolerable compared to Penny’s uninvited visitor. Penny, a teacher from Canada, is a member of our tour.

Last night, she left the Ngepi Camp lodge after dark and walked back through the woods to her tree house. Hers was the last one on the trail. When she arrived, she noticed a large gray boulder—one she had not remembered—blocking the steps.

Then, the rock lifted its massive head and opened its jaws. A hippo!

She ran back to the lodge. Trompie and Lucas, a local guide, returned to help. Lucas suggested they throw pebbles at the hippo to scare it away. Initially, the beast seemed confused.

Then it charged.

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Memories of Africa (Part 2)

Etosha National Park, Namibia

In the fall of 2011, my daughter and I traveled to Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. To read “Memories of Africa (Part 1 of 3),” please see the previous post.

Lion porn

The next morning after breakfast at Toshari Lodge, we headed back to Etosha. At eighty-six hundred square miles, Etosha is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Its grasslands sustain an abundance of wildlife, including several threatened and endangered species, such as white and black rhinos.

We stopped first at the Ombika waterhole, where a pride of eleven lions lounged in the grass. No other animal dared venture near the water.

We drove slowly through the park, stopping frequently to take photos. Numerous zoos could be filled with the multiple species grazing in the savanna—elephants, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, wildebeests, kudu, oryx, black-faced impala, springbok, spotted hyenas, black-backed jackals, bat-eared foxes, and warthogs.

As we drove, Trompie spotted a large male lion hiding in the shade of a tree near the road. A minute later, he excitedly proclaimed that a cobra was in the tall grass near the lion.

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Memories of Africa (Part 1)

Zebras, Etosha

While my travel plans (and probably yours) have been suspended by the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m sharing an account of a trip I took with my daughter, Allie, in the fall of 2011.

The trip was her idea. After teaching high-school English for four years in the Bronx, she was between jobs and somewhat burned out. She was looking for an adventure to reinvigorate her outlook.

“Dad, do you want to go to Africa?”

When offered a chance to share a travel experience with my daughter, I didn’t think twice. “Of course, Allie.”

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