Travel vaccines – check
Itinerary – check
Spending money – working on it
But what I don’t have ready is my mindset. I know it will be what I imagine, and probably more. Yet, what’s on my mind, as it is everyday, is poaching. In a previous close encounter, a tour guide ran into just such an occurrence (see previous post Tour Guide Gives Eye-Opening Safari).
What would I do stumbling across poachers at work? I know it’s not common. Most of them are not so brazen. They prefer the cover of night, to slink through the darkness like the snakes they are. But it’s a haunting scenario none-the-less.
I do not fear for my safety, I fear the lack of power or control over stopping it. Even as the tour guide told his story, I felt a surge of rage cloud my brain, imagining myself jumping out of the vehicle charging at the poachers. Logical? Probably not.
But I can fully empathize with the feelings of helplessness and frustration the tour guides, game rangers, and everyone working to protect the rhinos and elephants must feel on a daily basis.
Finding a poached carcass is bad enough. Knowing it happened, the animal suffered, the bad guy won..utter heartbreak. But catching them in the act?!
The trip agenda? Game drives, the Masai Mara, Ol’Pejeta, Samburu Reserve, meeting new friends and LOTS of photos to share with you all when I get back.
Being on guided tours, things are well planned and prepared, unlikely to turn into a full-scale wilderness adventure. Yet on every trip there is a smattering of the unforeseen. Who knows, if a poacher and I happen to cross paths…look out!
Because while, most of my friends’ daydreams consist of winning the lottery, mine is taking out poachers. ….. Rhino Girl…standing in the savanna, cape blowing back in the breeze, ready to swoop in and rescue the rhino from poachers lurking in the shadows!