Joburg, South Africa
Animals have the simple beauty we lack and the spiritual contentment we may never achieve.
Just because they lack the sophisticated minds to create the technology we do or make brick homes and highways like us...
It does not mean their connections to the etheric world isn't more sophisticated than anything we could ever imagine.
It only means that they are more spiritual, reflective, cosmic, and tuned into alternate universes beyond what our eyes can see.
Words by Suzy Kassem Excerpt From 'Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem'
Early last year, I had a chance to tag along with my mom during her work flight to Johannesburg (alternately coined as Joburg). The layover was only 2 days and despite our short stay, I got to see a glimpse of the country's culture — its flavors, local customs and art scene; not to mention the abundance of wildlife that Africa is well-known for.
I've been longing to share this particular experience for quite some time now, but never had the chance to go over the countless photos I took. Luckily, I'm getting better at managing my time, especially when it comes to blogging.
One of the most precious moment that stuck with me during the trip was the Safari Tour. *We also went down an underground cave, known as Kromdraai Cave, and it was absolutely magical. More on that later on.* We were immersed in the wilderness and it was nothing like I've ever experienced before. Seeing how these groups of creatures interact with each other in their natural habitat took my breath away. It felt like I was living the reality of National Geographic.
We took two vehicles on the tour: one, where we rode a caged truck and saw a lot of lions to last me a lifetime; and second, where we rode a car and our guide for the day took us up the valley where the grassland seemed to stretch out for miles. The latter was where we saw wild zebras, cape buffalos, gemsboks, kilpsringers and a whole bunch of other wild animals that I wasn't familiar with. It was fascinating to be in the midst of these creatures' environment and see all the flora and fauna surrounding us. On the middle of the trail during our ride back, I asked our guide if I can quickly go down and pick a few wild flowers. He told me it was dangerous as animals were bound to sneak up on you in those parts of the land, but I was persistent and he was kind so in the end I got to take home a few flowers with me as a keepsake from my trip (which are now pressed and preserved in my journal). These are mementos I would choose a million times over than store bought keychains and other common souvenirs.
Words can't express how beautiful the experience is. As someone who grew up being in love with animals and nature, and the idea of one day getting to interact and see them in person, it was a trip worth more than anything I could ever put into words.