The safari was amazing! Despite the dust and the bugs, this is definitely something I would do again in a heartbeat. Our group got picked by the jeeps at 6 in the morning and we drove about an hour to get to Akagera National Park. The park alone is beautiful, the landscape is so perfect it almost looks fake. Our wonderful guide/driver have us fun facts about the land and the animals as we went along. One of the first things we saw was a lake that lies between Rwanda and Tanzania.
The first animal we saw was a baboon. At first we only saw one, but just a little bit down the road was a large group of them, including a baby! We saw hippos next as continued to see them as the ride went on for the majority of the day. Shorty after our first hippo sighting we were fortunate enough to see elephants! Our guide shared that this doesn't always happen, and when it does there isn't always a big group. We were lucky enough to see 2 large groups of them and a lone elephant drinking water. I cannot believe that the photos I got are real. A little while later we were able to see a lion, another rare enough event. The rest of the ride offered so many zebras, impalas, and water buffalo that I could not count. Overall, the experience was irreplaceable.
As we went, I started to question the happiness of animals I have seen in zoos. Not only are they transported to places that are no where near their natural habitats, but they are given such a small amount of space. I don't think I really though about that until I saw how much room the animals on the safari had. The animals there seemed to have so much more life in them then any I've ever seen in zoos. It's just such a different experience to see these animals in environments much more natural to them than zoos.
This is just another way this trip has changed my perspectives. When I'm home I always forget that the best part of traveling is pushing yourself to be in different situations that challenge your view points. As the end of the trip is fast approaching, I still can't believe it's really happening. How cool is it that I got to go to Rwanda with a group of awesome people and experience all these amazing things? I still can't believe that this is happening and that the trip has been this amazing. I am definitely considering coming back in the not too distant future.