One of the best things in life is getting to live your dream and Intrepid’s Lisa Rollinson got to do just that on the Road to Zanzibar…
“I’m an animal fanatic! I have dreamed of travelling to Africa since I was a little girl and while growing up I wanted to be David Attenborough. By my late teens I realised that a career in wildlife documentaries was unlikely, but I could still travel through Africa and see all the animals… and continue my dream.
On the first afternoon driving through the Tanzanian outback on our way to the Serengeti I couldn’t believe my eyes. Giraffes, zebras and herds of different antelope. Groups of baboons and little Pumbas (wild boars) running around. It was like something out of one of my much-loved documentary. We’d stop for lunch or a comfort break and out of no where, there would be young village kids herding their goats. The biggest most beautiful smiles… we would try and talk to each other, but even though we didn’t speak the same language, the smiles would speak volumes.
I remember writing emails home to my parents about the landscape. It looked so similar to my home state of Victoria, Australia… familiar trees, the same dry land… but then there was a zebra!
I recall describing Ngorongoro Crater to my family and friends as ‘an animal pizza with the lot’. Almost every African creature can be found in this huge crater. Each animal with its preferred section and a big lake in the middle filled with flamigos.
Then of course there was the wonderful Serengeti. Searching for animals by day and camping by night, with our guides keeping watch for lions while we were asleep. Seriously, you can hear the big cats all night with their dinner!
During the day we found the lions sleeping around the trees or lounging in the sun on boulders. They didn’t care about us now though, their bellies were full… and the zebras must have felt some relief too. Maybe they could eat their grass in peace for a while.
So while I couldn’t be the host of the most brilliant documentaries, I could be the journalist writing home to my family with stories and photos of mother cheetahs teach their young to hunt, cheeky baboons stealing things from camp sites, massive vultures flying over a fresh kill and watching rhinos try and scare an elephant (good luck). Africa really is incredible and one of those places that lives up to your wildest dreams!”
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* photo by Sian Parker – Intrepid Photography Competition