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Dreaming of Africa...

Given the depth of emotions and memories stirred from publishing my last post, I thought it timely to look to inspiration for future adventures with our three young explorers. And having been in the trenches the last few months with our newborn musketeer, I am also a tad pressed for time - and headspace - to properly deep dive into global issues and write about them here.

So this brings me to a topic dear to my heart - travels in Africa. We talk about this a lot in our family and have primed the boys for adventures discovering this fascinating continent, its people and animals - all of which had me at hello.

Safari on the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

A place so full of contrasts, so raw in its landscape, people and culture - it got under my skin big time. But even before visiting Africa, I was struck by this far off place through good old film and television - my favourite movie being 'Out of Africa'. The continent had been calling me for some time.

So just before we got married, my husband and I travelled overland through Africa on a large 4WD truck with a bunch of other intrepid travellers - strangers to us before we all hopped on that unsophisticated truck for the first time. We travelled from Nairobi to Kruger Park, through the Serengeti, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Malawi, Victoria Falls and Botswana, followed by a luxurious stay at a private game reserve in South Africa - a treat to ourselves after 30 days of roughing it with folk generally a lot younger than us!

Making friends in Malawi.

It was a good test of survival for a relationship - with us experiencing close shaves with territorial elephants, camping in the Serengeti where lions brushed past our tent at night, travelling overland and living on top of each other (and 20 others) in basic camping conditions for a month. And yes, we are very happily still married.

So while I have been sitting breastfeeding over this past winter, my mind has been wandering to a few years down the track when we can start properly adventuring again and take our team to more challenging and eye-opening destinations. To quench that wanderlust I have poured over my old African photos and shared them with our older boys.

The images and our stories have successfully incited a thirst for zebra spotting, lion watching and all manner of African adventures in the boys - already our older one asks when are we going on safari. To minimise this often persistent questioning, we tend to rope in Harrison Ford and show our son Indiana Jones movies. Meanwhile our middle son has an ongoing fascination with Zanzibar as a mysterious place of pirates, slaves and ghosts.

Stone Town, Zanzibar.

As they lie in bed at night, they look at my African photos framed on their wall and let their imaginations run wild.

Here are a few to whet your appetite for adventure. As Karen Blixen once said in Out of Africa, "You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions".

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

View from Stone Town, Zanzibar.

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

A zebra crossing... Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

Off the coast of Zanzibar.

Rare black rhinos - Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

Leopard spotting at MalaMala Game Reserve, South Africa.

All photos were taken by Jessica Podzebenko.

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