Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A Southern African Safari (a travel memoir) #1

Hello Readers!

I’ve decided to share with you daily, excerpts of a piece I wrote two years ago.  This is a travel memoir.  It is a record of my experiences during a trip with my husband and friends around Southern Africa during December 2011.  Although it is imperfect, this piece has been hidden behind a desktop folder for too long and I feel it’s time it is shared!

As a side note, I wrote this directly after my year of studying masters.  Reflecting on that year, my writing style here is in complete contrast to my dissertation.  After a year of writing academically, I (amusingly) found balance in indulging in descriptive story telling.

Writing gives me joy.  I hope you enjoy reading these memoirs as much as I enjoyed writing them!   


A Southern African Safari 
Travel Memoir
 South Africa - Botswana - Zambia - Zimbabwe - Botswana – South Africa
17 December 2011 - 24 December 2011

1. The Planning

That November’s Sunday afternoon was well-spent on ice-cream cones and waffles with golden syrup in the Pretoria heat, joking and planning our December African safari.

We were four individuals, two couples. I, Zakkiya, was just recovering from a strenuous master’s year of studies, Suhale, my husband was bursting with anticipation over tiger fishing in the Zambezi River and Arshad and Zarina were excited about getting acquainted with Southern Africa and experiencing adventure. I didn’t have a single hope or expectation but the tradition of braaing under the night sky and playing Scrabble after dinner. To me, this was typical of any holiday and I looked forward to it.

Suhale had planned the trip for us all. Along with having had prior African travel experience, he was enthusiastic about taking me and showing me. Contrary to my usual need to control, I was relieved to relinquish responsibility and all too happy to go along with the ride.

The usual questions of, “what should we bring?”; “what will we eat?”; “where are we going?” and “what’s on the itinerary?”, coupled with map calculations, jerry cans, board games, white-water rafting and planned day-to-day activities could not have prepared us for the journey ahead, for Africa had its own idea.


Liked what you read?  Read Part 2 tomorrow morning!
I'd love to hear from you, please leave a comment.


  1. Would love to explore Africa. So far been to Namibia and Mozambique. Looking forward to your safari diary

  2. Thanks survivinlife! I'd love to visit Namibia! Africa is amazing! <3


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