Zebras and Elephants and Springbok, Oh My!
By Krystina Lucido
While sports took the side dish to our main-course game reserve trip to Pilanesburg today, I took a lot away from our experience about the culture of Africa.
Today was where I felt the most like I was in Africa -- the wide expanse of land, the tall grasses, the rolling hills and, of course, the animals. Zebras, elephants, springbok and hippos were just a few of the types of animals we saw on the journey. It felt good throughout our trek in the safari van to feel connected to African culture through nature and the animals.
Much of the culture, and the perception of Africa, is based in the landscape and the presence of animals roaming free in the jungle and fields as opposed to stuck in a cage as we have them in America. It represents a type of freedom and peacefulness I have never felt before.
It also made me think about how in America there are not these large areas of space left specifically open for animals to be in their natural habitat. Americans constantly tear down and build back up around free space, making room for our ever-expanding populace and culture. But in Africa, they would never dream of putting houses, apartment complexes or shopping malls in these areas, driving away the game and leaving them without a home.
Africa just feels like a very natural area, peaceful and down-to-earth, unmaterialistic in their everyday lives. The safari through the game reserve drove home the amount of social responsibility Africans feel not only for themselves, but for the people and things that were here before them.
Posted June 16, 2010