I like to joke that the only time my Dad is happier than when he is planning a safari, is when he’s actually on one.
For my Dad and I, who believe hunting is so much more than shooting, who would rather shoot a grizzled old bull than an immature male with larger horns, who know that the beauty of hunting is in the pursuit itself and that there are no guarantees, an African safari is the ultimate adventure.
It’s an odd way to “vacation” when you think about it. As hunters we chase winter (the hunting season in most places) around the world. We wake before sunrise, pile on the back of a truck in the morning chill, and then spend all day in the bush, far from the conveniences (read: bathrooms) of camp, searching for something we might never find. Except that we do. Because what we are actually seeking is time spent together, on a truck in the middle of the bush, witnessing nature in all its strange and beautiful glory. It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to spend time with friends and loved ones.
Most days we come back to camp well after sunset, hunting until it’s too dark to shoot. But the magic of a safari doesn’t end when we get off the truck. Some of the best time is spent around the campfire and the dinner table as we take turns telling stories about the day’s activities and otherwise discussing the issues of the day.
Then, after a delicious meal enjoyed by candlelight, we slowly make our way into our beds, snuggle up to our hot water bottles and sleep the hard sleep that comes after a day spent outdoors, before waking up before the sun eager to do it all again.