The Original Toll Route

An African safari teaches life lessons.

Colours of the rainbow

Colours of the rainbow

Capricious game instils que sera sera zen. Zebra melding stripes to form a giant predator-rebuffing entity speaks to the power of community.

It's a bird, it's a's a double headed zebra

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s a double headed zebra

A mother elephant taking on any danger to protect her suckling calf strengthens my maternal instinct.

elephant baby feeding - dawn

At night, listen – really listen – in order to allow less audible wilderness sounds to soak apparent silence.

But it is the roads in Africa that teach the best lessons. On a backbreaking 11-hour transfer between the Mara and the Serengeti, the roads test both our landcruisers’ mechanical tenacity, and the group’s budding safari zen.

enroute to ser - taste of africa

Masai Mara - roads

Grinding to a halt in yet another crater-sized depression, we tumble out to breathe, stretch, and observe from the roadside. Women walk miles for a gallon of water balanced precariously on their heads.

enroute to ser

Curious children crowd around T. as she gets out her book. Mopeds scurry past, laden with entire families.

Most remarkable: the enterprise of young men who set up a diversion around a particularly cratered stretch of road. They wave our landcruiser through after pocketing a KES100 shilling note (about $1).  Lined up along the smooth mowed path are shovels. “They dig craters to make them impassable,” says our driver. “We are forced to take their detours – for a fee of course. Everything good comes at a price.”

enroute to ser  - water carriers

And the Beat Goes On

Day 5 and we are one day wiser in Africa.


About Shila Desai

Conceptualiser of Unpackaged Travels ( Writer. Culinary diva when someone else does the dishes.
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4 Responses to The Original Toll Route

  1. Susan says:

    What utterly stunning photos and text. Love this post.

  2. Anonymous says:

    you took me back to Africa today.


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