Waking up this morning and looking for today to have a little something special to it!! Is it me, but does it seem as though breakfast in the United States versus most of the other places in the world I’ve been…is, ehhh…well, quite the bit different?? Most places I’ve traveled, well…if there is breakfast…it is a cup of coffee, a biscuit, medialuna, croissant, maybe an egg as such…the only place I’ve been where breakfast is loaded up is the United States, and I am not talking about the buffet at the hotel for the tourists,….if that is the case…well, that explains a lot! But, then again…there are variations…so, maybe it is just me… 🙂

We have a few plans today, so up and out with the sun-rise. I can be a simple person at times, I don’t require much entertainment. In fact, I’m still fascinated at being in this part of the world…experiencing it, seeing it, sensing it…even now…reflecting back on it…the environment…what it is like…what is life like for those living here…a few shots for you to consider as we pass along…

Whether in the dense housing townships or out in the sparsely populated…side of the road life…there is so much to learn about Africa. Even considering the geography. Often times Africa is mentioned as if it is one place. When, many countries, multiple cultures with variability, divergent histories, and, so much to learn that can be integrated…ahhh…to ponder…

Arriving at our destination – Kruger National Park!! Yes, we are going on a personal safari!! 🙂 First of all, let me show you the expanse. Huge wide open areas where you could spend all day driving. This isn’t a BBC or Netflix special, or the old school ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’. This is a certain reality! Which means, sometimes the animals don’t show up. The benefit of them not being in a zoo is that often times no one knows where they are. And as represented in the 3rd picture, because of the terrain and not being used to them – you can look right at them and not know they are present! 🙂

However, we are fortunate today in that a few showed up to add flavor to our trip. I’m not a professional photographer, no special lens, and as common sense would dictate…these pictures were taken from afar. The vision and experience were perfect though…but, here are a few pictures to share the experience…the elephants…you could feel their power even from the distance…

And, the Zebras. Came across several groups of those. As you could probably tell, much calmer than the elephants 🙂

Now for me, one of my favorites are the Water Buffalos. Maybe not as interesting for some. But, for me I love them. Admittedly, I am an addict to the animal shoes. And, I love how one can get brought down by a Lion or such…but, if they just hold on for a bit…the rest of the herd comes back. Shortly thereafter, you see the Lion running. They stick together, move as unit, they are a crew!! A lot of us could learn some powerful life lessons from a herd of Water Buffalo!!

Ahhh, the Hippos!! Quick Story!

My Mother: Look at the Hippos! Isn’t this nice! Why don’t you get out of the car so you can get closer and take a better picture?

Me: Ehhhh!!! Obviously, you don’t love me! Did we come all this way so you could have me killed. You do know that beyond perception, Hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa and by far the #1 killer! I am not about to get out of the car to get closer 🙂 I am not trying to end up on the dumb-dumb channel as we see some people do!

My Mother: Guess you have a point!!

Me: Yes!! Guess I do!! 🙂

She meant it in a good way!! 🙂

Rolling through, a few others. A Wildebeest, Hyena chilling, some Antelope, what looked like a Kudu (tough meat – yes, we tried some later in the trip), there was a giraffe in the distance but way to far to catch on my phone.

There are special tours to see the apex predators, but, that would of taken more time and also is dependent upon probability. Nothing missed, this actually was a wonderful experience! Add in lunch looking out over the plains….ahhh….yes, that map keeps expanding 🙂

Feeling very fortunate to have had the experience…but, then also…the most important part was sharing it with family…isn’t that true for many things….individually we can experience so many things…but, isn’t that the sweetest part….the sharing….with loved ones…

Heading back towards our abode, we stop to enjoy a bite to eat….a picnic….as family/friends…at Debegeni Falls – Tzaneen… I am told it means place of the big pot – in reference to the pool of water you see at the bottom of the fall…

This is one of those places where you can just sit…and, breath in the air, the midst, the coolness, but also allow your mind and soul to breath in the moment…the experience…allow it to be a turning point…

Magoebaskloof Forest which you can see on the border, and extends lots of life – birds, monkeys, amongst others out into this area. As you sit and enjoy your lunch, there is always something watching and waiting for an opportunity to snatch a treat 🙂

Sharing a family moment, my mother with the white top, and my long time friend/family Trafton (sipho), and his mother Cordelia Kirk, right along with Renae Ilwae with the distinguished yellow top hat…friendships – in all walks of life – I am getting there….around the globe 🙂

This was just a small snapshot! I’ve learned much this trip, mostly for my personal reflection as I grow as a person and absorb more of the cultures of the world into my own life. I believe it was Thoreau that said, ‘wealth is the ability to fully experience life’, and of course now we have to define ‘fully experience’. That definition may be different for each of us – as it should be!! While I learn to get out of my own way, and to make sure others are not in my way as well when it comes to my own realizations…I’m getting closer…and in fact, these trips are making me wealthier 🙂

And, so a beautiful day…together…a beautiful trip…another one….what a composite being built. Although the sun is setting….over the horizon it continues to shine…igualmente, it continues to shine in me….we shall meet again soon. Destination already chosen…so excited to continue ❤

Amigos! Hasta Pronto!!