Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Big, bold adventurers

We are back from safari. Yes, another safari. It's like going to the zoo for us.

We took Jorge's mother off to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia for her very first African wildlife adventure. Her sentiments?

"This road is horrible! Why didn't we fly?"
"Oh, no, I can't sit in the sun, I will get sick!"
"Oy, the insects! Horrible!"
"No, no, no...the elephants...too close...!"
"Ay, Jorge, not the lions! How scary!"
"Please, I want to go home now."

Really, it wasn't so bad. I think she even liked it in the end. I am sure she will go back to Colombia and regale all her gal pals with how daring she was, and how close she got to the lions.

To be fair, safaris in South Luangwa aren't for the faint of heart. Most of the cars are open, meaning that there is no hard metal wall between you and the animals. The drivers tend to go off-road a lot, to get you even closer to the big scaries. And it's the only National Park I know of that allows game drives at night within park grounds.

On our first night, we did a terrific night drive. Within 15 minutes of darkness falling, we saw a leopard, a genet, and a female lion on the hunt, all within about 30 feet of the car. Needless to say, Dora was freaking out. Every time the car slowed down, she leaned forward to say to the driver: "Please to go home!" If we stopped alongside another car, she would chant "Go! Go!" over the drivers' conversation. So that by the time we saw our second leopard of the night, we just cruised right past it!

Not surprisingly, she passed on the night drive on the second night. Ironically, we didn't see much, and got back early that night.

Pictures to follow soon!