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Akagera National Park
Friday, 31 May 2013 Written by Petra Lidia Ševeljević

Akagera National ParkWhen fra Ivica says “Let’s go!” we all have to be ready! In gratitude for our contributions to the Kivumu community, fra Ivica took us to the Akagera National Park. The night before leaving I could barely close my eyes from all the excitement because I was going to see wild animals in their natural habitat!

My first and so-much-longed-for-in-my-life safari lasted from 5 AM till 4 PM, when we headed back home. Our host and guide, fra Ivica, drove without a break the entire day! OK, we took just one short 30-minute break to have brunch in the middle of the park, as the giraffes strolled behind our backs. The rest of the time he was behind the steering wheel so that we could see as much as possible. Wow, he is a Dragon Man!

Park is much like forest trails. It is carved by water torrents that came rushing down the hills after a big rain. Too bumpy for my taste! Every now and then I thought we were going to lose a wheel, not to mention the ‘hopping’ we endured inside the car itself! Suffice it to say my head was hitting everything! :)

Luckily, the car was a 4x4 and there was room for sitting outside in the box behind the cabin, so I enjoyed looking at the world around me from that vantage point as well...

My joy at seeing the zebras, giraffes and other animals in their natural habitat was unbelievable. I even forgot that I hadn’t slept the entire previous night. Even more than that, I was actually wide awake and focused so that I would not miss a single movement and rustle of the animals.

And for that alertness and watchfulness, I was rewarded – I had the honour to be the first one to spot my beloved little giraffes. There were only three, walking graciously in front of us, and later, they were joined by two more...

Hippos, baboons, eagles, and all sorts of birds… we saw it all! And a weird animal that resembles both a donkey and a deer at is clearly etched in my memory. Its height and ‘backend’ is donkey-like, and its head is like a deer’s...

I could go on forever telling you about it all, but let’s take it easy… We need to leave some space for painting too. ;)

Translated by Branimir Mlakić
Edited by Valerie Kae Ken

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