our big safari....

hmmm, so maybe i use the phrase "big safari" a little loosely....as you can see by my amazing pictures, there was a serious lack of animals. apparently they don't like cloudy/rainy weather - who knew? you'd think it would be a nice break from the blazing desert sun, but what do i know about being an african animal.

the big adventure took place in an area called tuli block, which is a strip of privately owned game reserves that runs along the southeastern border of botswana. it's around a 5-6 hr drive from gaborone, but the roads are good and the trip is broken up by a variety of things.....first of all, there were around 6 different stops where people were supposed to pull over and get a brochure on road safety. this is because people drive REALLY fast and rather recklessly around here and motor vehicle accidents are a common occurrence. while i applaud the government's attempt at public service, i have to say it seemed to have the opposite effect....after being forced to pull over, get out of the car, and listen to someone talk about road safety, everyone seemed to be in even more of a hurry and drove like a herd of bats out of hell. oh well, it's the thought that counts.
and speaking of herds, there were approximately 5 trillion herds of goats, donkeys, and cattle at various places along the road. they evidently have very little regard for their lives because they consistently walk out into oncoming traffic, stand in the middle of the road staring at you, or prance dangerously close to the shoulder. seriously i think the trip would be an hour shorter if it weren't for all those goats.
so we finally got to our lodge in tuli block and it was beautiful and tranquil and just what i needed after burning myself out studying for boards. i think i even said something to the effect of "you know, even if we don't see any animals i'll be perfectly happy just being here and getting to rest." little did i know i had cursed us....our driver picked us up for a sunset safari in what looked like a toy truck from the 1970's with seats taken from who knows where precariously attached to the truck bed with bunji cords (to give some perspective, most game drive vehicles are pimped out land rovers with stadium seating. very close to our vehicle, very close):

we took off down the dirt road and drove and drove and drove....and after 2hrs had seen several impala (african gazelles) and a lot of dirt road, and that was pretty much it. it was a beautiful night though and really it was nice to just be out in the bush relaxing. we tried again in the morning and drove and drove, but alas, nothing but impala. we even went on a 2hr walking safari in search of hippos and waded through a vast amount of large poop mounds (indicating that there are indeed animals), but no one came out to play. we did make one friend who inspired my favorite picture from the whole weekend:

i mean, priceless. truly embodies the entire safari experience. all of us staring at our biggest find, a turtle. it was an adventure though and we had a lot of fun searching for animals, even if there were none to be found :).

as some of you know i've been in the states for the past 2 weeks taking boards and visiting family/friends. it was so good to be home but definitely went by too fast! i'm now back safe and sound and free of boards (at least for now), which means i'll definitely be more faithful in the blog/skype/email/facebook department. and we don't have tv so it's either that or stare at the wall :)