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  • Writer's pictureAlan Buck

A True Dream

I'm pretty sure that everyone has a bucket list of items they either want to see or do in their lifetime. One of my top items was to go on Safari in Africa, to see all of the big game, but especially an elephant and/or giraffe. Those two animals are my favorite and I never really thought I'd get the chance as the safaris are generally so expensive. When I went to Rwanda a few years ago, I looked into going on Safari. But there ended up being not enough time and the cost to book ahead of time was a lot. Not thinking I would ever return to Africa, I started to think it was about as likely to happen as me meeting Tom Brady or Lewis Hamilton (guys, if you're reading this, email me below :).

But upon realizing that Eswatini is one of the countries with both large and small animals, I got excited. When my hosts asked me how I wanted to spend my Saturday I immediately asked to go on Safari. And outside of my family, it was one of the best days of my life. Not only because I got to go, but because I got to see all the big ones. And it's not like they can guarantee sightings, they can't call them on command. So the fact that I saw all of them was a real treat. I talked to some locals who haven't even seen all of the animals.

Eswatini is a Big 5 destination, and I saw elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and lions, all within yards of our vehicle. It's one thing to see them in a Zoo, it's an entirely different experience to see them in their environment. I heard the elephants walking through the bush to eat. I heard the giraffes communicating with each other and breathing. I could hear the rhino eating. It was an amazing experience and I feel very blessed and fortunate. And for what seems counter intuitive for myself, I put my phone down and just watched (after I got a few pics, of course). I honestly think I'll remember it longer that way. So enjoy the pictures and videos I took.

This particular park is a National Park in Eswatini, Hlane Royal National Park ( and it is very reasonably priced. I look forward to going again on my follow up trip to Eswatini.


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