I am rich because of the experiences and people I encounter on my life’s journey. I am enlivened by the endless possibilities of travel and adventure – humbled by the vastness of the world. I believe travel and adventure can be found locally, and afar.
| May 16, 2016 |
I hope you stumbled upon this post because you’re going on a safari! Or… thinking about going on one. Or dreaming about it. Or you’re kind-of obsessed with the idea of it, don’t feel it’s achievable right now, but want to start preparing for when the opportunity presents itself. Either way, I’m sure a safari game drive on your bucket list.
Personally, I’ve always dreamed of going on a safari trip, but it seemed so unachievable. They’re usually quite expensive, and being a Doctor of Physical Therapy with resultant student loans to support my doctorate endeavors, I didn’t think I could afford a trip to Africa at this stage in my life. Luckily, my wanderlust desires attracted the opportunity of a lifetime, and I journey to Tanzania with EduTours Africa (have you been reading my posts on my trip? I’ve been sharing a ton! Check ’em out – stop slacking!). A majority of this trip was a volunteer mission trip, but we got some safari play time.
Guess what? You can do the SAME thing! Being in untouched nature – wild and free – is indescribable. On our two-day safari through Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park, we simply drove under archways and entered a vast landscape dotted with wildlife. Yes, an archway. Not a gate. Not an electric fence. Not barbed wire. Unlike in other preservation areas, the wildlife we encountered were not tagged – they were entirely free to roam. I marveled at the animals with delight, sensing their satisfaction as they lived in peace – void of human (or, inhumane) influence.
If you’re thinking about going on a safari, check out my *free* downloadable guide! Not sure if you love free things as much as I do, but hey – sharing is caring, right? Click the image below for PDF or JPEG files:
Stay tuned for closing remarks on my life-changing trip to Tanzania.
| May 15, 2016 |
Tanzania is simply rich with nature and wildlife. I felt like everywhere I turned, there was something new to soak in and the two days our group spent on safari were surreal. After the plethora of animals seen at Ngorongoro Crater on our first day, I could only imagine what Tarangire National Park had in store. Waking up at Ngorongoro Farm House was completely blissful, and I spent a few moments meditating on our patio before beginning the day. I inhaled the serenity around me, and exhaled I was disappointed with the short time we spent at the farm house as it truly held a special charm, but was ready for our next destination.
Tarangire National Park is perhaps Tanzania’a most underrated park, being a much less popular safari destination than its neighboring game drive reserve areas (Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park). Known as the “Land of Giants,” herds of elephants and Baobab trees are hallmarks of this park. These massive spectacles of nature dot Tarangire’s landscape in both the dry and rainy seasons. During the rainy season (March-May), many animal species scatter to other regions, so it is not expected to see too much wildlife. It’s certainly preferential to visit Tarangire National Park during the dry season when animals are attracted to the Tarangire River as a guaranteed water source.
Despite visiting during the rainy season, I had high hopes for our game drive in Tarangire National Park. I had my fingers crossed that we would see a leopard to cross off all the animals in the “Big Five,” plus encounter elephants and giraffes.
I was mostly satisfied.
| May 12, 2016 |
One of Africa’s natural wonders. Vast plains and forests. Biodiverse grazers, prey, predators, and threatened species. Waterways and dust-kicking paths. Coexistence with nomadic, pastoral Maasai. A wide-open sanctuary. Pure and untouched.
This 14-mile diameter, 600-meter deep, 300 square kilometer, gaping volcanic caldera is home to an expansive array of wildlife and dramatic scenery. As our group piled into safari jeeps with 360-degree views available, we were unsure what would be in store on our Ngorongoro Crater safari. I crossed my fingers for the sighting of ONE lion, and maybe ONE of the other “Big Five” (lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant leopard). Little did I know our full-day game drive would reveal the most impressive array of wildlife…
| May 11, 2016 |
Going on a mission trip can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. My heart is filled with gratitude for my immense growth as a clinician and individual during my time in Tanzania. Everyone wants to know there’s hope, and enlightening the staff and families who care for the children at Step by Step Learning Centre (SSLC) was powerful. The genuine nature of the people we worked with was a blessing, as there are certainly voluntourism disasters in the world. I did not once feel I was overstepping boundaries or unwelcome. In fact, I felt nothing but love. I left Tanzania with renewed appreciation for resources in the United States and belief in the undeniable power of physical therapy.
After the success of my first mission trip, I would like to share some advice to apply to the learning process. Preparing for a mission trip is a spiritual, emotional, and involved process. Because my heart was committed to making the most of this experience, I am bursting with wisdom to share.
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