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Gloria Greenstein

New York, New York Travel Agent

Life on an African Safari

I’ve been to Africa about 20 times and have been on the advisory board of the luxury adventure company, Abercrombie & Kent, for more than 30 years. What I love more than anything is staying at the luxurious tented safari lodges.

People often ask me why I keep going back. To me, it’s the vast nothingness. And by that I mean, there’s almost nothing of civilization outside of your lodge. It’s wilderness as far as you can see and so beautiful you can hardly stand it. And, there’s not a building to be seen.  

What do I do there? Nothing and everything. A typical day starts before dawn. “Jambo,” says your butler as he sets down a small table in your tent with coffee and a croissant or toast. It’s six a.m., and there’s a pleasant coolness in the air. You sit there. It is pure solitude and peace. Maybe in the distance, you make out the shapes of giraffes or elephants. As you sip your coffee, the sun comes up slowly. The mist begins to rise from the fields, and the temperature becomes more temperate.

Then, it’s time for your first game drive of the day. You pick up your camera and binoculars and board a lovely open vehicle. It is thrilling to see lions, elephants and other astounding animals in their natural habitats. The knowledgeable guides tell you all about them, but if you’re like me, the experience is equally about taking in the untamed glory of the African bush.

You return for breakfast—usually a very generous one. You might bring a book to the pool and read, jumping in occasionally to cool down.  More active travelers can go on walking safaris led by expert guides, or on horseback. And in places like Botswana’s Okavango Delta, you can also explore the floodplains in dugout canoes. 

Soon, it’s time for afternoon tea and lunch—served by the pool or perhaps, on a pretty lookout a short drive or hike away. After drinks on a lovely open-air terrace, your gourmet dinner awaits, served around a campfire.

If you love nature and the outdoors, you’ll love Africa.

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