Walking with Kimana, their foster elephant
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"Six years ago, my sister went to South Africa and invited me to join her on safari, but I said no. She brought back a wooden giraffe, along with amazing stories and photos, and I've regretted my decision ever since. Now I'm finally getting to go!" —Anne O'Brien, Woodside, N.Y.
Using our powers for the good of the people
When Anne O'Brien, of Woodside, N.Y., booked a Kenya and Tanzania camping safari, she was making up for lost time: Not only had she never been to Africa, but she'd never even gone camping. "I know, what a way to start!" she says. We contacted Intrepid Travel to see if Anne's first wildlife adventure could begin with a bang, and the company obliged: The day before their safari, Anne and her sister, Elizabeth, a fellow New Yorker, were whisked off to Giraffe Manor, a Nairobi-area hotel where Rothschild's giraffes roam the grounds and are free to interact with guests. "They were the largest things I'd ever seen," says Anne. "They were so friendly, but there was no way I was going to kiss one like Elizabeth did!" Anne did, however, feed a few at the Giraffe Centre next door. Then they were off to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for an exclusive visit with orphaned baby elephants. Prior to the trip, Elizabeth had sponsored an elephant there named Kimana, and it seemed that no introductions were necessary: "When we walked out of the bush," she explains, "Kimana left his herd and joined us for a stroll!"
Many thanks to...
Intrepid Travel, which plants a tree in Kenya—44,700 so far—for every week that someone travels with the company in East Africa (800/970-7299, intrepidtravel.com).