TRAVEL DIARIES: QUEEN ELIZABETH // SAFARI, PART 1

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It is nearly impossible to adequately describe how remarkable our time was on Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, a beautiful, vast mix of forests, green hills and savannah flatlands that I often forget actually exists. This is a place that quiets all the noise of life that you grow so accustomed to. Instead, all you can see for miles is the flat tops of Acacia Trees, all you feel is the heat of the African sun on your shoulders and the warm breeze in your hair. You hear the loud hum of a diesel, turbo-engine vehicle as it cruises through dirt and mud and rocks and tall grass. And when you come to a stop, perhaps because your tour guide thought he saw something in the distance, all becomes quiet as you hold your breath at the possibility of what awaits you. Will it be a lion? A herd of elephants? A buffalo? Bushbuck? Perhaps even a leopard?

The truth is, there were animals everywhere. We had what can only be deemed as the luckiest Safari of all time. It was as if the animals gravitated toward us. And no matter how many times you see them, the magic never goes away. These animals, in their natural environment, facing the real dangers of predators, or worse, poachers — just doing their best to survive, hunt and raise their infants — they are something incredible to witness.

We would wake up before dawn, sip on perfectly brewed coffee and eat warm homemade bread with eggs. Then, just as the sun was rising over the Rwenzori Mountains in the distance, we’d set out on that day’s adventure with a mission: have an incredible time while witnessing incredible beauty, and do our very best to just take it all in.

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Looking back, I realize that days like this are so simple and so special. I’m already missing that surreal feeling I would have when 15 feet away from a lion … which in my opinion, is the most beautiful creature on earth. And lucky for us, we saw A LOT OF LIONS.

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And just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, when I couldn’t fall any more in love with Africa — we found ourselves lounging and sipping bourbon in a British colonial-style, super-luxe lodge: think trunks, chairs and tables built using dark mahogany; tarnished brass details on the bar, an elaborate area rug and a huge mantle decorated with real ivory horns and a buffalo mount — all of which made for a mixed feeling of old world romance and new world adventure. It was pretty perfect.

More on our amazing Safari to come!

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4 Comments

Emily

These photos are all so beautiful. Makes me so happy to see you two making such fabulous memories together. And makes me even more excited to experience this all in August! Yes, so very excited :)

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Paul

Best trip ever! Thanks again Courtney and LP! You captured the moment and the surrealness perfectly. Waiting in anticipation of Part II.

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