(1 Reviews)

Mary McWilliams

Brighton, CO
Africa and Ireland Travel Specialist

I took my first real big trip abroad when I studied in Europe in law school in 1994.  I put a backpack on my back and traveled before my classes started in Ireland.  I spent time in London, Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Amsterdam, Switz...


As we set out for Zimbabwe it wasn't the trip we had hoped for..our bush plane couldn't fly due to the rain, so it was a long overland journey first in a bus and then in a safari car with Bee our guide. A safari car has "African Air conditioning" and as they like to say "African massages". We also got treated to our Ferrari Safari since the Hwange National Park closed its entry at 4 pm. As we drove in the park we were behind a rather large obnoxious family and they had their guide pull over. I was so excited and I asked Bee what we were looking for and he pointed to a turtle. I asked if that was one of the big 5...it is not. After a long journey doing the Ferrari Safari game drive stopping for some lunch next to an old elephant carcass (there are many since the drought) we finally got close to our home for the next few days -- Somalisa Bush Camp and we got to make an important decision -- go to camp OR some guides had spotted some Cheetahs? Cheetahs of Course!!! And that began our adventure. We saw two cubs feasting as their momma relaxed nearby. It was amazing. As we finally pulled into camp we were welcomed by dancing and singing and happy birthday song for Sue. We were introduced to Ronald who dances all the time. Somalisa....I could once again write and write and not say enough but it was amazing. Different and special. Clement would be our guide for the next few days. So the next morning at 5 am...knock, knock, knock and a latte delivered to my tent began the adventure with Clement. We start our game drive and I am all excited with my big camera...he stops after about 10 minutes and I am looking and he says.. "Look a bird. Do you like birds?" I am sure he told us what kind and what page they are found in his bird book. I told him birds don't really do it for me. Well....In the next few days I laughed, I learned, and I started looking for birds. I can tell you about the four different types of dung beetles. The three of us laughed.

Clement was an amazing guide. He used to be a school teacher so every once in awhile we would stop for a lesson. When it would get boring, and yes game drives do get boring, the animals are not always lurking about, we would make it fun, or we would learn. The time spent at Somalisa went so fast. Even though we were only there a few days it felt like we knew them forever. I am sure to some it felt like an eternity :-). Saying goodbye was also a hard goodbye. Somalisa is another place I will be back to visit. As I go through and edit pictures it is hard to narrow them down. I have learned so much about animals and photography. So to the people of Somalisa...Tadenda....Twalumba...Siyabonga....Tabocka...and truly Twalumba from the bottom of my heart!!!!Africa is truly a special country that I am struggling to put into words how much it has touched my soul. I am having a hard time even expressing to those I have met how much they have touched my soul. So Twalumba!!!

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