Sunday 12 May 2013

Lions and tigers and bears

I would love to be able to say that this was an image I captured in Sumatra, or India - but actually it was at Auckland Zoo this afternoon, where the grounds were awash with families on Mother's Day outings, the small fry perched along all the walls and railings, the most overheard question "Do you need the toilet?" Those days being, hooray, long behind me (my MD wishes arrived via email and text), I was able to give all my attention to the animals on a glorious sunny autumn day when they were looking their perfect best.

I do know someone who has seen tigers in the wild, in India, and also lions and elephants in Africa, the lucky thing. That would be so special, and well worth the long journey and potential discomfort. Another travel writing friend actually did a safari in Botswana by bicycle, which I do admire her for, but don't envy one bit. For me, safaris have to include a tent with billowing white curtains, though for subsequent bragging rights, I wouldn't mind the open-air loo yet another person told me about where an elephant's trunk flopped over the top and hung down the wall as she sat there.

It's a bit embarrassing to call myself a travel writer and not to have been to Africa. I keep saying "Maybe next year" but as it's not likely to happen by itself, I see I'm going to have to get pro-active, as they say. And, in the meantime, post another of my Instagram pictures (link on the right, if you're interested) that's actually of an African animal. The bears of the title, incidentally, will hopefully be present and correct in Alaska in just three weeks' time.

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