ELLE (Canada) - - Story Board - By Jennifer Weather­head Har­ring­ton

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

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