Sunday, April 14, 2013

On safari in Rwanda!

We pulled out of the driveway in the pre-dawn darkness (4:00 am to be exact) in order to make it to the Akagera National Game Park in time for the gates to open. Which meant, by the time we got back home, about 15 hours of straight driving. But our son David shared driving privileges with three of the teenagers in the car who are learning the art. That, of course, was all part of the adventure. The roads in the game park are dirt, mud in places, and full of interesting ruts and termite holes, just the kind of driving kids love (at least third-culture-kids, TCKs).
The animals seemed especially shy, which only made our encounters all the more dramatic. My favorite was driving right through a “herd” of about 20 giraffes. All sizes and stages of development—from huge full grown adults to tiny 10 foot high youngsters—surrounded us, largely ignoring us as they nibbled tree tops, nuzzled each other, and slowly meandered about. One group of four seemed to be having a meeting. It was awesome, in the actual meaning of that overused word. (Do giraffes group in “herds”? Flocks? Surely not. Pods? Most certainly not. Clans? Nope; that’s a people word. I’ll have to look that up when I get home. I’m sure there’s a word. But you get the picture.)
We also encountered hippos, zebras, two crocodiles, many herds of impalas, gazelles, cape buffalo (one of which looked like he was charging us), warthogs, turtles, tupis, exotic birds, antelope, dung beetles (nothing too small to be fascinating), baboons, small monkeys, and  hundreds of butterflies.
The wonderful African landscape—mountains, planes, lakes, and all the hundreds of varieties of trees, thorn bushes and flowers—was part of the wonder.
     Thanks be to God for most this amazing world.

No comments:

Post a Comment