For most tourists to Africa the goal of the Safari is to catch the big game – perhaps a glimpse of the Lion King. It is not a tough thing to do if you look in the right places and I spotted the king of the beasts as he lazily slept on the coarse grass of Amboseli Park.
I stopped my mini bus to take pictures of this magnificent beast, and today it did not disappoint – except that it was a lioness! The Queen (can we call it that?) was laying on the grass as it looked at me drawing close in my bus.
It got up and yawned at me and went along for a lazy indolent, stroll. I clicked away with my camera and the distance between me and her mustn’t have been more then 20 meters and I had a good view.
Next was a team of elephants who where busy eating the bush grass and sipping water from the lake with their cubs at their tails.
As we wandered further we came upon another a herd of wild beasts, water buffaloes and zebras.
This time we circled around the lake to catch a glimpse of some amazing bird which included a red billed Pelican and what might have been a Kingfisher.
So much of color on a bird the kingfisher definitely looked majestic and perhaps no wonder it became a mascot for a beer brand!
“ You know Anuj, I used to watch Mahabharata when I was young and I think it was a famous Indian TV serial which was also very famous in Kenya” remarked John my guide once during the safari .
“ I take a lot of Indians to safari , nice people and they eat a lot of chilies with their food !” He added making small talk in the heat and dust of the bush.
I smiled and asked “ who was your favorite hero from Mahabharata then?” John scratched his head for a while and said “ Bhishma, the man who lay on a bed of arrows , man he was so powerful because no one could kill him as he had a divine boon , so all they could do was to put him on a bed of arrows .”
I was frankly amazed he knew all this, about a culture so far away to be impossible. I was also fairly heart warmed thinking the strength of our culture that spreads so far and wide.
John was a fine guide and made sure I had everything I needed on my journey, he took care of my lunch my drinks and my rest and recreation.
Africans are simple people, brave strong and forthright. Sometimes I wonder how they were once colonized by the Continental Powers at one time.
Tourism forms a big part of their national revenue and there are people from all over the world here. I saw and met Danes, Russians, Koreans, Japanese all come over to see this wild spectacle of Africa. And what a spectacle it was indeed.
As we headed back from the observation point in the park at about lunch time I realized i had spent almost six hours watching these magnificent animals.
Time just flew and I wouldn’t have noted had it not been as I was hungry. After a bite of spaghetti and meatballs I opened a bottle of lemonade called Krest, a brand owned by Coca Cola and available in Africa.
As I sipped it I could tell the flavor of the drink had not changed and was the same even twenty five years back when I was last in Africa growing up in a land so vast and unique.Now with the afternoon heat getting to me i soon retired for a nap dreaming about my next destination which is Mount Kenya.