Hello from Africa! I’m back in civilization for a brief moment and thought I would give you a quick update. Africa has been wonderful. I’m currently in the Namibian capital of Windhoek, dropping people off from my tour and adding some new faces. The next stop? A week in Botswana before I head to Victoria Falls and finish my trip in Zambia.
Twelve days into my trip, I can tell you that this part of Africa is everything it’s cracked up to be. While I’ve only seen South Africa and Namibia, I’m amazed every day, and my notions about Africa have been turned upside down. Africa is God’s zoo. To be so close to so many animals really gives you an appreciation of nature and the wild. I’ve taken close to one thousand photos (see below for a small sample) and am looking forward to taking even more during my last week.
It’s hard not to take photos. The landscape here is primal. Compared to all the other places I’ve visited in the world, Africa seems untouched. Animals roam freely, and for miles upon miles, you see few signs of humans as you barrel down unkept dirt roads. Once in a while, you pass people walking along the road and wonder, as you notice the emptiness around you, “where on Earth they could be going?”
Each sunset and sunrise only gets better with each passing day. I’ve never seen so many vivid colors in one place.
This trip has given me a lot to think about, and while I’ll save those deep thoughts for another post, I can say Africa has taught me at least one thing: I’m not a country boy. While I always cherish being out in nature, setting up and taking down a tent and sleeping in a sleeping bag is not fun. Nature is awesome but after two or three days of roughing it, I’m ready to head back to civilization. I like beds, pillows, and other creature comforts. I remember camping in Australia five years ago and staying in permanent campsites. The tents were set up with little beds that you threw a sleeping bag on. That was enough roughing it for me.
But here in Africa, I have to worry about black mambas, scorpions, baboons, and being eaten by hyenas if I decide to get out of my tent at 3 a.m. for a bathroom break. (O.K., I’m probably not going to die on the way to the bathroom, but I’m still freaked out!)
Simply put, I’m a big baby city boy. And you know what? I’m O.K. with that. I like cities.
I picked a camping tour because I wanted to see Africa from the ground, not a hotel room, and despite my wimpy ways, I don’t regret doing it. The best trips are always the ones where you push yourself out of your comfort zone a bit.
After all, this is Africa.
I can deal with a little camping if that’s what it takes to see it. Even though I like leaving my bed without having to worry about snakes, everything I’ve seen has made the camping worth it. And I’m super excited for what’s next — bush walks and scenic flights in Botswana.
Here are five photos to whet your appetite for the upcoming photo posts:
Namibia’s famous Dune 45 at sunrise
A stunningly clear shot of the moon at 9 a.m. in Namibia
Savannah somewhere in South Africa
Zebras in Etosha National Park, Namibia
A baby lion, Etosha National Park, Namibia (even more cute photos to come)