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Anyone wanna go camping?

Gotta say we loved Africa—but we stayed in lodges. With doors. And locks. We could have chosen fancy dancy camps in tents, but I have a really really good imagination, you know. In fact, I wasn’t convinced that lions couldn’t open the sliding glass doors of our room atop Ngorogoro Crater. Johnny pointed out that big cats don’t have opposable thumbs, but the thought of them prowling on my back patio … and peering in at us…well, that was exciting enough for my money.

Closest we got to these critters was when we went hot air ballooning over the Serengeti. Although the pilot told us that there were lions beyond the tree line a few feet away, I wasn’t convinced. When we got into the basket, I was more afraid that the dad-gummed thing might crash into a tree. As we rose up into the sky, the sun came up. (They planned it that way…the balloon people, not the carnivores.) And within seconds, we could see a family of lions having a buffalo for breakfast. I think.

Lions were feasting just behind this row of trees!

The only reason I jumped to that conclusion was that from the sky, the carcass reminded me of the last of the turkey bones left on the platter at the end of Thanksgiving Dinner. I credited the balloon people with arranging that for us, not realizing just how common such scenarios were in that part of the world. Back home in Pittsburgh, we were more like to see said turkey carcasses so it was an exciting moment.

What we were doing just moments later!

What I was afraid might happen which was why we stayed in hotel overlooking the Serengetti:

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