Anoop Judge | Author · Writing Instructor · Former T.V. Host​

The continuing African Safari Adventure: The rest of the Animal Kingdom!

There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel the whole time as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne—bubbling over with heart-felt gratitude for being alive.”  – Isak Dinesen (Out of Africa) in a letter to his sister.

Anybody fortunate to go on an African safari[1] understands how difficult it is to answer the question: If you’ve seen the Big 5 ( on your first game drive, why continue with it? The early start, the four-hour game drive in the scorching African sun, the hard seats and the bumping and bouncing around in the dust?

The answer:  the essence of a safari is not just about seeing the exotic game (commonly known as the Big 5)—it is also about the dramatic landscapes unique to this continent, it people and its cultures.  For those who value being in the great outdoors, there is nothing more magical than a close encounter with the continent’s less famous but equally fascinating wildlife. 

African Safari Adventure: The Big 5

You wake up to the shrill insistent ring of the telephone.  Tring, tring, tring.  It demands an answer.  You squint at the clock on your bedside table.  It\’s only 5:30 a.m.  Your voice is slurred with speech when you answer. 

“Good morning, wakey, wakey ,” is the cheerful accented voice on the other end.

You groan, put on some clothes, grab coffee and bagel from the breakfast buffet at the dining room and run outside where an open jeep with a driver and ranger awaits you.  As you drive with six other people into the jungle, you begin to revel in the clean crisp morning air, the cold and the dust, the stark beauty of a panoramic sunrise, the silence of the morning and the sense of wilderness all around you . . .then, you round the corner and there in the middle of a half-paved road stands a leggy giraffe, it’s long neck rising majestically into the sky.

“Aaaaaah, morning sunshine,” we croon as the giraffe arches his neck towards a tree and begins to nibble on the leaves.

This is the quintessential African safari.  An adventure.  

Anoop Judge is a blogger and an author, who’s lived in the San Francisco-Bay Area for the past 27 years. As an Indian-American writer, her goal is to discuss the diaspora of Indian people in the context of twenty-first century America.