Zebra at African Lion Safari

Happy Anniversary

Yesterday was our tenth wedding anniversary. To celebrate, Nikki and I are putting everything else on hold and taking a couple of days to head out on day trips.

First on our list is the African Lion Safari near Hamilton, Ontario. We’ve been several times over the last decade. Just the two of us together, and as a family convoy. Tomorrow it will just be the two of us. Nikki with her brand new point and shoot, and me with my backpack and gear for the DSLR. I’ve learned a lot and have more and better gear than on previous visits, so I’m hoping to get some truly amazing shots of the critters enjoying the last of the summer sun.

I am not and never have been a fan of zoos. Seeing animals in cages depresses me. Makes me angry. I do not enjoy. African Lion Safari comes the closest I’ve ever seen to recreating natural habitats, which means the animals are more relaxed and apparently happier than when I’ve seen them elsewhere. They have room to breathe. Massive acreage. Fences, not cages. Lots, and lots, and lots of open space.

Getting along

Going here offers an interesting perspective. I know it is not a natural environment, and so the animals do not compete for food and resources. Still, seeing zebras and giraffes in the same space as rhinos makes me wonder why humans with far fewer differences can’t learn to get along equally well.

The lions have their own space, of course. It is wise to keep your car window closed while driving through that enclosure. When the weather starts to cool it is not unheard of for a lion to jump up on a car hood for extra warmth. What you gonna do, get out and yell at him? Baboons are prone to clambering around vehicles, staring at the occupants while pulling off the occasional windscren wiper or antenna. Those mischievous little buggers are the main reason that many prefer to take the shuttle bus to avoid vehicle damage. But we prefer to take the car and take our time. We can afford new wipers if we need to.

So, between that and the elephants and the reindeer and the flamingos and the bison and the… well. I’m fairly sure I’ll come back with some amazing photos and have a great time doing it.

On the way home we will stop at our favourite roadside stand to pick up fresh corn cobs for supper. That will be a great end to a great day. And it will mark the end of our first ten years as a married couple. Here’s to the next ten. Onward.

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