And then it was the day to leave. After 6 wonderful days of safari, it was time to return home to Chicago. This time, it would only take us 40 hours to get home. Totally worth every moment.
It took r three hours to get back to the airport. It was amazing to see the country unfold before us. After days with no other cars but the jeeps, there were so many cars on the road! But we saw a bit of the farms as we passed by. We saw herds of goats and sheep. My only complaint about the food was that there was never goat on the menu. I love goat. Oh well. We saw a lot of huge birds of prey as well. It was also interesting to see the various vacation places as we passed by. How many of them were like Erindi? It’s hard to imagine a place as wonderful as Erindi. Sadly, we didn’t go into the downtown of Windhoek so I can’t really speak to the capital city itself. We did pass a taxidermy place nearish to the airport. That would have been interesting to stop in!
The airport was an interesting experience. It was probably the most frightening part of the trip. At the check-in counter, the agent was having difficulty printing our boarding passes. Luggage tags were printed without an issue. After a brief consultation with another gate agent, he decided to handwrite our boarding passes. Yep, handwritten boarding passes. This was quite a first for me. I’ve traveled on five continents (I’ll get to the other 2) and this has never occurred. He got some of that special paper for tickets and wrote the relevant info for each one. He told us it would be fine since he would be the one to take the tickets as we boarded. Passport control and Security rubber stamped the whole thing. So that was quite unnerving.
As we boarded the plane, the stewardesses were really unhappy with our boarding passes. One commented: “Anyone could have written that. That’s a security risk.” Yes, we know. But we were allowed on the plane and got to Johannesburg. I got one neat picture of the country from the air.
Thankfully, we had checked in online so we would have been recorded on the flight. But that’s such a weird experience!
After 40 hours, we got home to Chicago.
So what can I say in conclusion of the trip? It was one of the best things I’ve done. There is nothing like seeing these amazing animals in the wild. These are incredible creatures. We have to protect them and appreciate them. I’ll never be able to see giraffes the same way. Now, I’ll admit that within three weeks of returning, we went to two zoos (Lincoln Park Zoo and the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, WI) to get our animal fix. But it isn’t the same. I’m still aching to go back there. I want to hang out with the elephants again. They were probably my favorite; they are so full of personality!
So if you have any inclination to go on safari, do it. Sure, it’s not a cheap vacation but it’s not prohibitively expensive. And it doesn’t have to be tents or “roughing it.” Erindi Private Game Reserve was a fantastic place to go. It was rather luxurious and the staff were great. Ule is the best.
So do it. You won’t regret it.
That’s all…for now.