Travelling, as in life, asks that we get the best on offer and I have often been asked by guests as to the best place in Africa to go on safari.
The question is asked to plan future safaris or to affirm that the present choice made was the right one. Many travelers have the feeling that they are not getting what they paid for and need some sort of affirmation.
My answers to the question generally veered toward the reason for the question. If an affirmation was needed then an affirmation was given but if an opinion was required then the answer was more carefully weighed up. An answer of affirmation generally leaned towards the notion that wherever the person was at the time was the best place to safari [at the time].
After an afternoon game drive of dramatic sightings, including elephant bulls tussling and a leopard stalking impala, the question took me by surprise. It was the first game drive with a new group, most of who were talking excitedly about the afternoon sightings. But we had not seen lions yet!
The question was posed by a Scandinavian lady who had seemed reserved, almost disinterested, during the whole drive - the reason for which was now known. I do not recall the answer I gave but the incident has stayed with me since the day it happened. Expectation can be the bringer of bitter disappointment.
Africa is a great teacher of life, and in many parts of the continent the age-old priorities of respect, patience and understanding are the norm - something that changes very quickly when 'advanced' western ideals are forced into the equation.