Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Back to Africa

Time for a mental vacation. I'm heading back to Africa for a few minutes, to Parc Pendjari in northwest Benin, bordering Burkina Faso.

It was a last-minute addition to our itinerary, something we undertook because we found a family of five to tag along with. They had hired a guide and driver — the only way to see the park — and let us join their group.

We saw elephants and baboons and a young cheetah. We stayed at a lodge that seemed lifted from a novel: a circular, open-air lobby with small cottages clustered around it. Our twin beds were draped with mosquito nets, and there was a shower with running water.

After lunch and siesta we clambered back on top of the van and rode through the countryside as the sun sank lower in the sky. A sea of grass waved around us; the whole world seemed made of it.

It was a moment out of time, one I return to often, a moment of tamed adventure. The wild around us, the promise of rest to come.


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