The vast plains of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Wildebeest
The Tallgrass Prairie in the plains of Oklahoma, Bison
That first morning in Serengeti was like a homecoming. I stood outside my tent gazing out across a vast sea of grass teaming with wildebeest. My first thoughts were, "This was Kansas/Oklahoma/Nebraska in the 1400's!" Replace the Wildebeest with Bison and my mind was filled with the beauty of and the similarities of home and this vast place. I had visited many historically significant places before in my travels, battlefields, buildings where history was made, but this was so different. Instead of visiting a 'has-been" I was reliving my own countries history in a live diorama! I could almost feel the presence of Native Americans slipping through the grass to get close enough for a shot with a stone age weapon. Sure, it is different. Outside, in Africa, in the open like this I was in something commonly called the "food chain" where back home the only real fear would be the odd rattlesnake. Here were lions, cheetah, leopards and other wildlife capable of making me realize my true shortcomings and could help me find my place and position in the game of life. Standing there, armed with a camera, a lens and several rolls of film, I was not near the top!
In some ways, I was expecting this but the true feelings were much greater than anticipated. Barely 18 months earlier I had stood on a trail at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Kansas with Boyd Norton trying to explain to him (he lives in Colorado, in the mountains) why I loved the prairies. I half expected him to think I was crazy. He immediately chimed in, "I understand. If you love this, you would love Serengeti." At that very moment I decided that I had to experience Serengeti and Tanzania as Boyd had years earlier. He had expounded on how it was one of the few places on earth he felt at home. Now, I was standing looking at my home as well. Tanzania and Serengeti in particular are "Time Machines" able to take you back to roots, roots from the beginning of mankind, from your earliest childhood and dreams of wide open spaces loaded with wild animals and sunny skies, solid ground underfoot and excitement in every direction.
Don't miss it. Go. This is your chance to turn back the clock and see the past unfold in front of you.....