I have been fortunate enough to travel to many of the major global cities in the world such as New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo. One of the common themes shared by these cities is that they remind of the tremendous progress by mankind. But progress rarely comes without costs and in this case, the price of progress has been an increasing distance between mankind and nature. This thought is what inspired me to book an African Safari in Kenya because I wanted to get close to the nature. My trip convinced me that we need to do more to preserve natural habitats because they add invaluable beauty to our small planet.
On first day of the safari trip, we were met were a herd of elephants in a hay-colored grassland. I had never seen such majestic elephants, despite being to many zoos around the world. The sight of elephant alone convinced me that animals do not belong in zoos because no living being reaches optimal physical and mental health in captivity. The elephants came near to our tour car and even extended their trunk to us as if they were saying ‘welcome to our home’. When elephants walked, the earth would tremble. One could say elephants made the land trembled beneath them as dinosaurs once did millions of years ago. Another thing I noticed was that the air was surprisingly clean and energized our bodies as we inhaled it. It was enough to tell me how much we had polluted the air in big cities. Despite all luxuries of life, I had never breathed air this clean and refreshing before even though it was a hot summer day. From time to time, one would get the whiff of the plantation around such as grass and trees.
On the second day of the tour, our guide led us to the habitat of elephants. Our guide car would pass by the lions and they would not be even the least bit aggressive. Once in a while, one of the lions would roar and it would shake me up. Listening to a roar in person is nothing like listening to it on TV. Even though I knew I am safe in the car, if the roar could tremble me to such an extent, I could only imagine the effect it would have on those animals lions prey on.
The third day was a huge surprise as our guides had set up a lunch table for us beneath a tree in the middle of the jungle. The food was delicious but it tasted even better. I imagined our earliest ancestors who lived in lands like these at ate under these conditions. Eating in the same place enabled me to get in touch with mankind roots. During the lunch, a bunch of deer came by the table because who could resist the smell of delicious food our hosts had prepared for us. The deer were wary of us but the hosts were experienced so they found a way to make the deer feel at ease. This provided me with a valuable opportunity to touch them and just as I had imagined, the feel was akin to touching a goat. I almost shared a quarter of my food with the deer but it was worth the price of getting close to them. As far as the food is concerned, it reminded of Haitian cuisine which shows how similar cultures are around the world. Almost every cultural food I have eaten, it has reminded me of some other culture.
The whole safari experience greatly exceeded my expectations and also made me determined to raise awareness about the damage human beings are doing to natural habitats. Now every time I hear or read about global warming, I cannot help but wonder how it may affect the few remaining natural habitats we are left with whether in Kenya or in Alaska, US.