Moments In Africa

a personal quest

Proper Footwear for Safari

Field AdviceFelicia McReeComment

African Tales

You've just climbed the gentle rolling kopje (a large smooth rock outcropping) on the vast Serengeti plains of Tanzania for afternoon tea.  Spread out on the vast sea of lush green grass below you is an enormous herd of wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle, lazing about munching the short grasses.  All is peaceful on the endless plains; even the resident predators take a break from their pursuit.  The only movement is a slight breeze, the constant twitching of the Tommies’ tails, and one lone vulture silhouetted against the big blue sky.  Drinking in the spectacular vista, you note with reluctance the intruding sound of a zipper closing, telling you it's time to pack up for your descent.  As you descend the kopje you find that, rather than enjoying the marvelous panorama all around, you are unpleasantly distracted by a sharp pain in your foot.  Your rueful glance falls on the thorn that has penetrated the unprotected skin revealed by your stylish sandal.  Although these shoes seemed so attractive when you bought them, they have proved quite inadequate for the reality of life on safari, so often detracting from the intense pleasure of the moment!  Although the climb down is by no means physically demanding, you are embarrassed to find that the slick soles of the sandals slip and slide on the rock face, necessitating your guide and spotter to steady you, one on either side, all the way down.  As you leave the glorious scene, you commit to yourself never again to wear ill-chosen shoes on safari.