As I sit here, the African sun hasn’t quite crept over the horizon in the east yet. There is a low bank of mist hugging the plain overlooking our home. The world seems more at peace this morning. I’ve got my two hunting dogs Bongo and Foxy lying at my feet, occasionally lifting their heads as a Lion roars in the distance, sending out a warning to all that he will be back again this evening. Its great being back home.
Looking out from my perch on the veranda I realize we have so much to be grateful for. We’ve just returned from our most successful six weeks spent crisscrossing the United States and Mexico. We visited many old friends along the way and enjoyed meeting a host of new faces that will soon join the John X Safaris family.
The American and Mexican hospitality we were treated to was beyond description. The generosity in the opening and closing of shows with booths being shipped across North America on a weekly basis, and the many homes that were opened to us for hosting get-togethers or cocktail parties was astounding. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, both the American and Mexican hospitality is something all should be very proud of. Thank you.
Reflecting on the success of our trip and considering the most talked about subject with the many folks interested in coming on safari to Africa, it always seems difficult to find the words to explain the essence of Africa. Apart from the obvious – the safari life, unlimited game, and hunting that will blow your mind, one battles to explain what Africa does to the soul. I’m an African born and raised, yet I cannot pinpoint what exactly it is. I can however share a short story of an experience that may cast light on what draws one back.
After being away for six weeks, our South African Airways Airbus 737 touched down at OR Tambo International in Johannesburg late yesterday afternoon. As our wheels hit the runway there was an eruption of African voices, a chorus of native tongue engulfed the entire plane. There was a rhythm to their song that I understood. There’s something about getting back that excites the spirit and makes one want to express the feeling, there’s certainly something about the colors of the earth as one banks for the final approach for the runway. Then the cabin door opens and Africa flows back into your airways and into your blood. It is then that you know you’re back, you’re back in Africa.
More than this I cannot explain, I’m afraid my lack of vocabulary does not do justice to why so many hunters return to Africa year after year, and why you’ll always be back after that first “once in a lifetime” safari. I can however leave you with a South African saying that is true….
“Eleven official languages, numerous native tongues, dozens of tribes, and yet not one native word for stranger…..”