Dreaming of Africa…


Diani Beach, Kenya

When I was a young girl, I dreamed of going to Africa, a dream so far removed from my reality, I considered it a fantasy.  As life moved on, time zipping past me at supersonic speed, on occasion, I dreamed of Africa.

Was it the raw, wild of the continent, the mystery of the mix of barren deserts and lush forests or the lure of bearing witness to the wildlife roaming free?  Yes, to all of these.

In my typical American life; 64 years long with many years of love and marriage, family and friends, work and play, I have seldom asked God for more than I have had.  Sure, I asked for answers to difficult questions, relief from an aching heart and guidance during difficult times.  But, I never asked for Africa. It was too much to ask for, selfish, unnecessary.

Now, as I count the months on my fingers every other day the time to visit Africa is coming near. Reflecting on how quickly my life has passed by so far, I know the time is closer than it seems.  

I’m finally going to Africa. I am going to Africa with my love, my best friend, my go-to person whom I run to when the big bird alights on the dock, when the albino squirrel leaps across the picnic table and when the bald eagle swoops into the trees.  That which we love; the water, smooth as glass in the calm, or white capped in the wind, the greenery of the short season, the fluffy blanket of snow in the long season, the blue sky on a clear day or daunting sky in looming storms. We’ve loved it all.

We’ll spend a long time in Africa, three months in Kenya, three months in South Africa in the wild.  We won’t be living in a tent or sleeping in a sleeping bag. We’re not your basic backpacking world travelers nor are we luxury travelers lounging in hotels, dining in gourmet restaurants, waiting to be waited on. We’ve experienced that kind of travel.  We’ve loved that too.

The photos of the house in Kenya are in the post of April 23, 2012.  I can’t get them out of my mind.  This morning at 4 am, after a night of fitful dreams of Africa, I awoke, jumping out of bed to put in my contacts.  I could no longer sleep.  As I do quite often lying in bed, I read the email on my phone.
This morning a message came from my cruise representative, Joaquin at Vacations to Go about Africa’s seasons which reads:

“Wildebeests and zebras typically spend December to April nursing newborn calves in Tanzania. The slow-moving calves lure lions, cheetahs and hyenas, and the resulting mix of predator and prey offers prime viewing opportunities in Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.
When the rains end, usually in May, the animals head north in search of food. This is the start of the Great Migration, a steady stream of animals in columns that stretch for miles, heading toward the western and northern Serengeti. June and July are the best months for witnessing the migration in Tanzania. In August or September, the herds begin to cross into Kenya to graze amid the lush greenery of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Some naturalists claim that the Masai Mara contains the largest concentration of predators along the migratory route. The animals will stay here until October or November. Most safaris visit the area before fall brings another rainy season to the plains and the herds turn south, back to Tanzania.”
We will be in Kenya from September 1 to November 30, 2013.  We will travel to view the Great Migration based on where the wildebeest will be crossing the river and grazing during the time we are there, all dependent upon the weather at the time; either the Serengeti or the Masai Mara which is much closer to where will will be living in Diani Beach on the coast of Kenya.  

Rather than arrange a costly structured safari, the property owner who lives next door to the house in Kenya, has suggested we hire the experienced locals who will take us when the timing is right.  In a way, this adds to the adventure. We shall see what is best and decide at that time.

With our never ending aches and pains, our variety of prescription medications for age related issues, our multitude of dietary restrictions, our fears unfounded and real, our dislikes of airports, our preconceived notions, my best friend and I are going to Africa. 

A dream comes true…


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