Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Africa: The Migration (2) - The Four Best Head Out

We've taken to calling ourselves "the four best," since we like to think our our little group as The Four Best African Friends. Not sure it works, 'cause I have so many best friends in Africa that it is difficult for me to decide who are "the best."

But no question about it, these are the people I hang out with most, and we have our fun.

What we're calling ourselves connects, I suppose, to the phrase used by many people who come to Africa to go on safari (and it's how we came up with it, as we thought about what people look for on safari). It's traditional to make a big deal of looking for "the big five" (African buffalo, African bush elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino). Why not? It's not a bad idea to have some focus for your search as you ride about looking for wildlife. Still, there is so much else to look for that it seems a little gratuitous to give so much attention to just five animals.

The Four Best's Migration Safari began last Friday, a big day in Kenya. It was a national holiday, and since it seemed a good idea to be away from all of the crowds in Nairobi, we chose that day for beginning our migration safari. I wrote about the migration phenomenon in the last post, so won't go into detail about the Great Migration now, except to say that it was a great excuse for taking off and heading back to Masai Mara, the huge game reserve some of us had visited before (a safari described in lots of posts back in May - click on "May" in the archives list to the left).

But we couldn't just leave our patriotism at home, so when we stopped for petrol, we saw a display of little flags and decided we had to have one attached to the car - Charles's job! Lots of fun, attracting attention both at the early morning hour and after we got into the game reserve.

This safari was a little different, as this was to be my first tent safari. Not a bad way to do a safari, and certainly a pleasant way to get to meet other people, since most campsites have several tents in the compound and campers share a common dining tent for meals (some photos are here). Nice conversations and getting to know new people around the big bonfire before dinner, that sort of thing.

Once again I was the only muzungu in the crowd, a distinction that seems to elude me here in Kenya, but afterwards I'm always surprised (and pleased) when the subject comes up and I realize that none of us even thought about it. Kenyans just don't worry about such things, and certainly our little group is now so tight-knit that we have many other subjects to discuss.

Like all the animals we saw. Stay tuned for more (and more photos).

No comments: