A Serengeti safari adventure.
I spent my first safari morning on a horse named Geronimo who liked to buck as we headed down rocky slopes. My 5:30 a.m. wake-up call at the Mount Kenya Safari Club (one of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite African haunts) was timed so that our group of five riders would hear the morning birdsong and experience the sunrise. Soon, we came across a herd of grazing buffalo that stared at us quizzically, their ears flapping away flies. Later, we spotted wildebeests running through fields, giraffes nibbling at treetops and elephants making their way up a grassy hill. The downside to a horseback-riding safari is that you don’t get as close to the wildlife as you would if you were to travel by Jeep—plus, the bumpy ride makes picture-taking nearly impossible. But knowing that there was nothing between me and the animals made it all the more thrilling. (I was also reassured when John, our guide, explained that the wildlife are unable to distinguish riders from their horses, so as long as we remained quiet and still, we wouldn’t be seen as a threat.) Picture-perfect moment: Watching the sun’s rays peek over Mount Kenya (the second-highest peak in Africa, next to Kilimanjaro) and dip into the valley. h