How I Ended Up In Zambia

When the movie Out of Africa, came out in 1985, something opened up in my heart. Robert Redford was a romantic legend as Denys Finch Hatton. The wildness and beauty of Africa also stayed in my heart, and I began to dream of visiting the African continent. I read every book I could find of Isak Dineson’s (Karen Blixen) work and other books about life in Africa. Sadly, most of the books I read were about hunters and their prey. My early knowledge of the African continent and its history was poor. Entire countries changed hands before I knew where they were on a map.
I watched wildlife shows on television. Seeing part of Africa on the big screen made me hunger to go there. Elephants never entered my mind. They weren’t chasing Meryl Streep through the bush, but I longed to return to the continent from where we all began.
I’d traveled a bit to other countries. I love the United Kingdom and my Scottish ancestry. Paris and Guadalajara were adventures I’ll never forget. Other cities and countries showed me their best, but I was always ready when it was time to go home and left without looking back.
My daughter Lindsey and I visited Mfuwe Village in the South Luangwa Valley and spent time in bush camps in the South Luangwa Park where we went on games drives and long guided hikes. This was the beginning of my understanding about how precarious elephant’s survival is. When it was time to go home after my first visit to Zambia in 2011, I cried as our small airplane took off, and the wild bush country disappeared from view. I knew I would find a way to return.

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