Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty . . .

Charlotte Narboni
10 min readJan 4, 2018
The Author: Old enough to know better, too young to care. Kruger National Park, South Africa

For the ultimate feline encounter, nothing beats coming upon the king of the beasts in the African bush. Close encounters of the safe kind involve searching for these majestic, often marked and scraped creatures with patches of fur missing as they search for food and mates or even while they’re taking a cat nap. Any sighting is worth the price of admission. They look fatigued, stretched out on a flat plain, moving nothing but a flicking tail. The lions rest through the heat of the day, patiently waiting for nightfall when the females set out to find dinner. In their world, a woman’s work is never done. She brings home the gazelle bacon. The male spends his time resting, fighting off competing males and keeping the females pregnant.

My daughter Cecile proposed an African safari. Our travel advisor suggested Kruger National Park, a large preserve in northeastern South Africa with an unparalleled selection of animals and birds. Here it’s possible to spot elephants, water buffalo, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and yes, lions. The Big Five! Kruger also boasts skillful, professional guides, integral to the safari experience. These men and occasionally women are part of the private camp experience throughout this part of Africa. The guides can find animals and birds in the most unexpected places, providing guests an opportunity to see wildlife in its natural habitat.

Our South African mother-daughter adventure began aboard a tiny plane in Johannesburg. My overwhelming memory of this short trip to the bush was, in addition to the frightful weather, the pilot, a young man of gargantuan size whose belly was so broad he could not use a seat belt. It didn’t seem to cause him any concern. Perhaps his caution-to-the-winds attitude should have worried him because we flew for 90 minutes through some of the worst weather I have ever experienced. Cecile, a nervous flyer in even the best conditions, sat terrified, her face tense with an “Am-I-going-to survive?” look. Nor was I particularly excited with the weather and the terrain as the plane bounced and shuddered towards, around, and past several mountain ranges at an altitude that seemed to hover close to the ground. The sound and fury of the thunderstorms subsided only after we crossed one of the mountain ranges. Once on the other side the sunshine returned and we landed safely on a dirt strip, God knows where in…

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Charlotte Narboni

Travels Around My Kitchen…Travels Around The World…Travels Around My Life!