First day seeing an animal (any animal):
Me: What is that? It looks like a boar. Runs to find someone who can accurately identify said boar. Told it’s a warthog.
Second time seeing boar-like creature:
Me: Oh look! It’s a warthog. Confidently lists several features of the warthog; it’s preferred vegetation, which animals prey upon it, etc.
First day seeing a Bushback:
Me: oh look!!! It’s a bushback! This is SO exciting. Spends next 20 minutes filming bushback while exclaiming over ever single detail of their unusual markings.
Second time seeing a Bushback:
Me: Looks around for other animals, sees there are none, begrudgingly films bushback for a few seconds before turning the camera to a large bird which has landed on a tree branch nearby.
Third time seeing a bushback:
Me: doesn’t bother turning around, Oh look! A whole family of warthogs. Aren’t they funny?
Fourth time seeing a bushback:
Me: No reaction.
When on safari each new sighting is met with feverish anticipation and curiosity. Then, after a few more sightings, inevitably one is on to the next thing. For me it began with pretty much anything that moved, followed by awe at the enormity and beauty, and a desire to see whatever it was up close. Then, over the course of a few days, I noticed that I wasn’t even bothering to film the bushbacks and their beautiful markings. In an effort to combat “the jaded tourist”, I tried hard to pay attention to and marvel at the markings of the impala, antelope and others.
Still the thrill of seeing what are referred to as the big 5 couldn’t be shrugged off. The big five: Rhino, Elephant, African Buffalo, Lion and Leopard are the most sought after sightings, but in the beginning, anything was exciting, even the bushbacks (which I still love for their exquisite markings). But it’s easy to ignore yet another baboon or vervet monkey or Ibis or Spoon billed stork or the amazingly colorful Lilac Breasted Roller. In fairness, I never did tire of seeing those monkeys and birds, however I admit I did begin to view the impala and bushback, so plentiful and in such massive numbers, as the “deer” of Africa.
If you are interested in travel and specifically in traveling in Africa, I have been releasing a new video every day on my YouTube playlist: An African Adventure.
Today’s video covers a river safari we took in Zambia where we sighted countless hippos. I was not frightened by any of the animals we saw except for those hippos. They are enormous, fast and fierce and when you’re in a smallish boat, they can be terrifying!