Man... it's hard to write this final post about Africa, because then it feels like the trip is truly over. The last few days of the trip, as we were all starting to make our separate ways home, Cyndi and I decided to go on a safari. Now, I am no wildlife photographer, and I have to confess that, although many photographers would dream about shooting in Maasai Mara Park, I thought it sounded interesting, but... I shoot people. How exciting can a safari be?Boy was I wrong. It's seriously like the Lion King, as soon as you drive into the park. I was surprised to see that we didn't have to go looking for animals or make any sort of effort to track them down. Just a thousand animals, all hanging out together, with zero fear or skittishness around the safari vans. Also, the several-hour drive from Nairobi to the Mara gave me lots of opportunities to shoot some street scenes out of the windows :)
We spent three days on the safari and stayed at a camp / lodge on the outskirts of the park. Late one evening, we were sitting in our room and I heard a soft thump on the window, right behind my head. It almost sounded like a dog jumping up to try to peek through the window, like my dog often does. Curious, I stepped outside to see what it was. Um, yes, it was monkeys. Monkeys, robbing all of the rooms of their food. I watched this guy and three of his monkey friends jump in and out of our neighbor's window, stealing all of their granola bars and chocolate bars, one by one. Seriously, one was even keeping watch while the other ones ransacked the place.
When we got back to Nairobi, just a few hours before our plane left, I got to do one of the most epic things of my life.
Backstory: maybe two or three years ago, I came across this image on Tumblr. I was so sure it was fake, a movie set or something, but I loved everything about it and saved it. Fast forward a few years, and I decide to join Photographer's Vision for Africa and travel to Kenya. While doing research for the trip, I came across the exact. same. image. Wait, wait... this place is real? I could not have been more excited. Visiting Giraffe Manor quickly became my singular life goal, and it almost didn't happen (turns out you have to make reservations). We finally made it in for high tea a few hours before our return flight to the States. It was every bit as epic as I had imagined - moreso, even. Everyone was so friendly, and we got unlimited tea, wine, and fancy pastries. This place lives in my dreams. Yes, that's me in the blue dress, sipping my coffee.
Craziness. Africa, I love you!