We’ve been to Africa before.
Two years ago, to the dismay of our mothers, we explored rural Rwanda on our own in a rented compact car (!) before spending some quality time in Rwanda and Uganda’s national parks with those beautiful creatures whom we affectionately dubbed “our gorilla friends”.
This time, flying into the Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania, our hearts were racing; we were so excited to be back on the continent. It doesn’t matter if you’re been to Africa before, it doesn’t matter if you think you know what to expect (you don’t). Everyone will be surprised by their experiences in big ways and in little ones. Everyday. Without turning this blog into a serious political debate, it’s all too easy to romanticize Africa, a continent with more troubles than all of its neighbors combined. Perhaps, however, this is one of Africa’s greatest gifts, turning each and everyone of its visitors into lovers and devotees for its people, its animals, its land and its sky. From the moment we stepped off the gangway of our plane into a darkness only Africa knows, breathing in the warm air and traipsing across the still-steaming tarmac, loaded down with camera gear, until the time that we hurriedly boarded the plane that would carry us up through the dust storm and back to T.O., we inhabited what seemed to be another world.
Lions frolicked and wrestled in front of us. We spent several days with a cheetah mom and her four young cubs, finding out just how tough it is for cheetah mothers to go it alone — hunting for food while keeping her cubs safe. A leopard descended from her perch and approached our Land Rover looking directly at us, within feet of our lenses. We caught up with the migration in the Serengeti and were surrounded by over a million wildebeest and zebra. Far from lulling us to sleep, lions battled with hyena only yards from our canvas tent. Incredible.
We’re now back in the city we love, in our falling down house, with our (fortunately much smaller) kittens, and ready to resume taking pictures of lives and loves of a different kind. While we work on a couple of other projects, our plan is to share our photos and stories from Tanzania with you over the course of a couple of posts. Until then, we thought we’d leave you with a quick peak into our adventure…
We have to thank our guide Elliott Neep, an amazing wildlife photographer who works with Oryx Photographic Tours, for such a great trip. Without Elliott our trip would have been that much poorer! The Oryx group was certainly a class act. Of course, we also have to thank Joshua, our driver for our time in TZ. With x-ray like vision and deft driving, Joshua made sure that we were the first on scene for all of the best moments of our trip.