My guide has retired to his tent for the night, exhausted from driving 8 hours over bone-jarring, roughly graded roads. I look up from my camp table and realize that I can only see what is illuminated by the kerosene lantern - a circle of light about three feet in diameter. Beyond that is complete and utter blackness.
Can any one mental snapshot encapsulate the Tanzanian experience? Thousands upon thousands of wildebeest that march in mindless unison on the annual migration through the Serengeti, perhaps? Or a family of elephants wading across the wide, muddy Rufiji/Tarangire River? What about a pride of well-fed lions sunbathing on the grassy floor of the majestic Ngorongoro Crater? Certainly, it is such images that tend to spring to mind when one thinks of Tanzania.
And properly so!