Seven years ago I travelled for the first time to Africa. I was attracted by the wild nature, the silence, the emptiness, camping in the wild, meeting animals and African music. One of the places we visited was Chobe National Park in Botswana. It was a water paradise and while we were sitting in a boat, we suddenly saw White Egret standing straight up but miraculously floating through the reeds. An unusual survival technique we thought. It had the same effect as Julie Christie standing straight at a Venice gondola in Don’t look now as the widow of Donald Sutherland. It made us laugh but then we saw the cause of this image. Egrets floating had nothing to do with a sort of supernatural event. The big, ponderous body of Hippo came to the surface and carried our lackey majestically,
Years later in Tanzania more of these symbiotic friendships between different species catched our eyesight. There is a sweet alliance between Zebra and Wildebeast. The Wildebeast don’t smell very well, while Zebra has a great smell. Zebra though, doesn’t have much eyesight, but Wildebeast has. So Zebra can smell danger while Wildebeast can see it. Together, they can help one another flee from predators.
I will never forget our ride at Tarangire National Park. We were close to a river with high sides. Suddenly Wildebeast appeared. It stood firmly between two trees overlooking the area. Another one showed up, watched carefully, entered the water and took its position on the other side of the river. He was looking so strong, standing there firmly. Then all of a sudden many Zebras emerged, galloping, moving down, jumping in the water, playing, frolic and cheerful. They gave quite a show. And all the time Wildebeasts were standing motionless like temple guards, doing their job in this Survival game.
Another beautiful couple is Buffalo and Oxpecker. Oxpecker feeds with lice and ticks from Buffalo skin. But what makes them more then welcome is the fact that they scream when predators are closeby. In exchange they get food, protection and of course free transportation, most welcome for their survival. Sceneries like these are just one of many unexpected, enjoyable surprises Tanzania brings you during a Safari. You never know what will come to you. Together we are part of a tracing adventure, our attention with our senses, completely relaxing and thrilling.