When you envision exotic travel, your mind likely ends up somewhere in Africa. You can’t get much more exotic than that.
Pretty much everything which is the exact opposite of your every day life, happens in Africa.
Rugged, prehistoric landscapes, extreme poverty, tribal life, neck rings, beautiful wildlife, scary diseases, lush countryside and lots of Tse Tse flies.
Oh, and squat toilets.
Having to question where/when you will perform one of your most crucial and routine daily functions can make anyone start to grow homesick.
You’ll never appreciate an actual toilet seat so much until it’s gone and you’re forced to get all Neanderthal just to poop!
Africa also encapsulates two major bucket list items for many people: Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro and going on safari.
Both lofty (and pricey) goals, they are also two of the most memorable things you will ever do in your life (after things like marriage, kids, homicide).
We were lucky enough to recently check both life-changing events off our lists as well as putting ourselves through the ultimate torture.
Let me preface by saying that hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro was the hardest thing all four of us had ever done (and probably ever will do).
It was supremely challenging, both mentally and physically, and it’s hard not to feel a little pride for having reached the top without exploding or something.
But don’t let me get ahead of myself.
First, we went on safari.
Awe, safari…something that rich, white folk do and have done for hundreds of years.
Lemme tell ya, a safari in Africa ain’t cheap. You won’t see backpackers roaming the streets looking for hostels and nights of blacking out on local spirits.
In Africa, you stay at luxurious, 5 star lodges with guilt-inducing pampering including gourmet meals and hot ivory massages.
You don’t grab an empty bed at a motel and try the local street food.
You only leave the compound which is your hotel with an escort or driver, you’re not encouraged to just “walk around”, especially at night.
The odd thing is that I never felt unsafe. Never felt I was on the verge of being pick pocketed.
Maybe because we always had an escort with us? Who knows.
All I know is that Tanzania was one of the most beautiful countrysides I’ve ever laid eyes on and the people were really warm and friendly.
I guess feeling cutoff from the locals was a tradeoff I’d have to accept.
Especially since I usually have an irrational fear of being stared at and wandering around the locals often means I have to feel like I must be completely nude or slathered in my own feces.
Why is everyone staring??
Relax, Bun Boy.
In another world, I’d wander around the planet in a burka, quietly observing.
“Don’t look at me, people!! I’m just here to see stuff and make fun of you all later on my dumb blog”.
Is that so weird?
Please note that I borrowed Captian’s camera, which had a smudge on the lens. So some of the pics may seem to be glowing in the center.
All right people, enjoy our African Safari, part #1!