I was fortunate recently to return to Africa. It was due to a business trip but I was not going to let the opportunity of returning to where my very first real adventure began without getting out of the office environment and back into the African bush.
It had been almost 20 years - wow....am I that much older already - since I was last in Africa and while the core of the continent and a visit to the continent remains the same there have been many changes.
It is hard not to get lost and or emotional - well at least not for me - when you are tracking through the birth place of humanity, witnessing the depth of the milky way in yet another deep clear African night, or literally being 3 feet away from some of the worlds most famous and majestic animals; Lion, leopard, Rhino, Elephant wild dogs and giraffe.
How could anyone but be amazed and in awe of their surroundings in this unique destination? But while being taken away by the sights and sounds of Africa it is also easy to become reflective and realize that things are changing and changing rapidly! Much of the change is to be expected and actually welcomed.
It is through the natural growth and development of the African nations countries but this change does begin to take some of the "charm" out of the destinations.
What is more worrying is with the growth and development there remain to a large and dangerous degree old issues. That in this age of "awareness of the environment" - albeit this awareness being a long time coming - is that habitat encroachment, poaching, disease, and corrupt governments is still endangering and reducing the amazing sights that Africa has to offer.
Age brings with it maturity - hopefully - and maturity brings with it wisdom. Twenty years of traveling have enabled me to see Africa how it was and how it is....I can only imagine in my historical fantasies what the Africa of the early the 40's and 50's was like let alone at the turn of the century!
We are living in a time where the rapid pace of invention and development is overwhelming. While many great and momentous discoveries where made through out history, the time between these advancements and steps of enlightenment was immense!
In the last 100 years - a little over one lifetime - alone we have seen the amazing, the wonderful, the wondrous and the incredible. We have gone from 1 billion people on this earth to 6.5 billion! Flight was invented; cures to many age old diseases have been found and major progress on others is under way; we have traveled to the stars, invented the computer which enables me to type this from a game reserve in Africa - DNA, the motor vehicle, the internet, TV, reality TV (?); that birds are descendant of dinosaurs; the origins of where it all began with the big bang, the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, the fact that every one is equal!
It is a fast paced world and as each day passes more and more of the "old world" disappears. It is an unavoidable progression but if we keep the same pace of invention and technical evolution up the world as I remember it and the way in which I would like my kids to experience it will be gone.
Now is the time to get out there and see not only Africa but the world.
Look now as you may never see this again!