When one thinks of Africa often the first thing that comes to mind is Disney Classic, The Lion King. So when Danny and Jill asked me what I wanted to do during my visit, without hesitation my response was, “See every animal from The Lion King!”
One two hour flight, one (EDITOR’S NOTE: Two for Danny, he came all the way to Kenya to pick me up) seven hour shuttle, and one hour long jam packed bus ride later I was in Moshi, Tanzania eagerly awaiting my safari for the next morning. I gladly woke everyone at the crack of dawn screaming “Safari Day!” Soon after we were off to our three day, open roofed land cruiser safari…
Singing songs (EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, we actually did this) from the Lion King on the drive to our first park reminded me of the famous talk between Mufassa and Simba (Fun Fact: Simba means Lion in Swahili) about the circle of life. His version of the circle of life largely encompasses the relationship between the predator and the prey and how everything returns to the earth in one big circle. Almost immediately I discovered he forgot to mention one key detail: reproduction! It seems everywhere we went that is what we saw the trip soon came to be known as THE SEX SAFARI!
We saw this aspect of the circle of life occur in most animals from zebras to elephants (An elephant penis can weigh up to 25 KG wow!) to Baboons on more than once occasion. We gave our best efforts to capture these magical moments on film. Who doesn’t everyone need a picture of Zebra fornication in their living room?
The safari turned into a real life Lion King experience and so much more! Ngorogoro Crater was by far my favorite park, we saw what seemed like millions of animals just hanging out in this huge hole. We had lions come up and sit in the shade of our Land Cruiser, one crazy [French] woman started screaming (EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually screamed ooohhhh lala) because she thought we were going to run over the lion’s tail. When we first drove up to these lions Jill’s motherly instincts came out when she hurried me off the roof of the car where I was sitting and made me keep my arms in the vehicle. This would not be the last of Jill attempting to save my life. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Just wait until we get to Uganda.) A few times we became part of the elephant herd, where our car was literally in the middle of over fifty elephants. The elephant even mock charged us, clearly an experience one cannot live without.
I do believe my Lion King experience was a success, but I believe Danny and Jill felt my Africa experience would not be complete until an over-night 14 hour bus ride on an unpaved road could be checked off their mental list. To make it even better we had local music videos blaring through the speakers the whole time all the way from Tanzania to Uganda. We were even lucky enough to do it again for 30 hours from Uganda to Lamu (Island off coast of Kenya) but with Kenny Rogers and Nigerian soap operas. I don’t know how these guys do it!!!! Once was enough and twice was more than I could ever need in my life time, and they are ready to do it again. I truly felt like a backpacker when I got to step off my “luxury” bus ride to walk two miles in the scorching heat with a 40 pound pack on my back.
Many thanks to Nikki Biller, Danny’s cousin and author of this post, who joined us for a few weeks in East Africa.