Lately I’ve been spending a great deal of time daydreaming about Africa. While I love many places I’ve traveled to, Africa holds a very special place in my heart, and I miss it deeply. Here, the view from the top of the sand dunes of Namibia at sunrise…. pure magic.
Africa, a continent of magic. Often referred to as the “Birthplace of Humanity”, it is a land that has drawn me back again and again. Of the many fascinating regions of this vast continent, one of the most compelling is Etosha National Park, set in North-central Namibia. Etosha means “place of dry water”, an excellent description. The semi-arid savannah, full of thorn scrub, is very flat and very dry. All of which equals extraordinary wildlife viewing. The park covers over 22750 KM, and is home to hundreds of species of animals.
Africa is filled with dozens of tribal factions, one of the most well known being the Masai. At each village we visited we were honored by a traditional dance from the women, followed by the jumping ritual of the men. There are many magic moments in travel, but surely spending time among these fascinating people ranks near the top.
The temples of Egypt were awe-inspiring for their incredible artwork, intricate carvings, and sheer enormity. It is sad for us to see the news coming out of the country these days, and we are glad we got to experience it as it was, but that civilization has been around for thousands of years and I am confident it will continue for another thousand. Our thoughts are with the people during this terrible struggle for democracy.
My breath fogs the air, mixing with the morning mist, as I climb out of the camper. The morning sun is peeking through the trees, causing flashes of light to reflect off the lake. Jim and the dogs are still asleep and I stand in wonder at the absolute silence surrounding me.
At moments like this I’m always struck by the beauty of the simple things in life, and astonished by our continuing ability to ignore it’s power. We spend our lives fighting a simple life of happiness as we strive for more, bigger, better. As I sit alone in the still of the morning, my mind wanders away from this scenic lake in Oregon to reminisce about some of my favorite memories, all of which had nothing to do with grand monuments or fancy lodging, and everything to do with meeting the locals, good food, and unexpected magic.
The Sphinx and pyramids of Cairo. Admittedly, not my favorite spot in Egypt, it was nonetheless an impressive sight. We were constantly in awe of the work done by human hands thousands of year prior. Egypt has seen some turmoil in recent years, but the country is safe and the people need tourist dollars. Go, now, and visit this iconic landmark for yourself.
Africa, that enchanting place far, far away. We can never get enough, of the people, the landscape, the music, and, of course, the wildlife. It’s not at all rare to see a giraffe, however, it is rare to see them lying down like this beautiful guy.
I love taking pictures of old doors and windows and this beauty is at the 12th-century Citadel of Saladin.
OK, first, a disclaimer. In the interest of full disclosure I think I need to get one thing out in the open right away, I don’t like history. Wait, let me rephrase that, I LOVE being in historical places. I love wandering the same the same rock pathways that people have wandered for thousands of years. I love poking around ancient ruins and peering through doorways into past lives. I am endlessly fascinated by walking in the footsteps of history. What I don’t always love is the facts of history. I’m not exactly sure how it happened. My dad was a history teacher at one point, my older brother still is, and yet start talking to me about the dates and extensive details and I feel myself immediately begin to fade off. I have spent hours and hours tramping about historical places all around the world, enthralled by where I am; just please don’t ask me to remember exactly what year it happened!
Africa has always been a dream destination, one for the bucket list. Romanticized in such movies as Out of Africa and I Dreamed of Africa, a land of adventure and amazement. A decade ago, the tour company I work for, Grand European Tours, first started selling a trip to South Africa and lucky us, we were one of the first in the company to get to go on tour and check it out!