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Our Safari Experience-Pictures Included!

Seeing a giraffe on safari was a highlight of our family’s trip. We were fortunate to observe many wild animals up close. To touch them would have not only been dangerous, but it would require climbing out of the gigantic jeep bouncing us and several other people around on the rough terrain, similar to an actual African safari.

I imagine Africa is a lot hotter than where we were, only a brief bus ride from the Magic Kingdom. I was relieved to see the animals had plenty of refuge in the area, and Disney had truly done what I perceived as a fine job at caring for them though they were out of their natural habitat.

This post is not me endorsing animal captivity, by the way. If I could know every animal on Earth is free from harm, I would arrange it. But reality says another thing, so I’m sharing what I feel is more of a moment of appreciation for these wild and beautiful beasts.

We were all amazed by the beauty of the majestic creatures surrounding us. I’d love to share the moments we captured in snapshots with our camera with you today. Here they are.

See the goofy gardener’s hat? The day we left the Animal Kingdom was the last day I wore it! It was replaced by a hip Minnie hat with polka-dots. Still, I miss this goofy hat! No pun intended!
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Our eyes caught the first sign of “Harambe.”
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Safari time! It was warm, but not too hot that day.
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Simulated mountains overlooking a very real bridge, trees, and beautiful waters. We viewed this from another bridge and I captured the peaceful atmosphere.
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Family safari! Zoko, my husband and I hop aboard a huge jeep. I think there is more technical term, but it escapes my thoughts.
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Rhino not feeling photogenic at the moment. Most likely, though, it’s because he can’t see but two feet in front of him. We learned many facts about animals from the tour guide.
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Hippo. I had to cut off the hind end of this picture because he/she…um…was flinging poo on the wall with its tail.
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Helllooo. Ostrich just being who it is. All feathery and calm for the moment.
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Flamingos hanging out near the water. Beautiful sight to see.
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This elephant had a few or couple of friends, but liked his space.
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I cannot remember the name of this animal, but his head and face was boxy and he stayed in proximity of a herd of similar animals.
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This one reminded me of some of the pastures I pass near my home. We do not have animals like these in Northeast Georgia, but it was serene. Loved it.
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There were several giraffes. This one played peek-a-boo while having lunch.
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Hippo and bird, up close.
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Small herd of rhinos!!
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We took a rest at a food court place afterward.
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This duck was not shy and loved to interact with people. We would talk to him and he would move his head to the side like he understood our every word.
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Man-made gigantic tree. It has several carvings of animals on the trunk including an owl, snake, horse, and several others.
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Waiting for Baloo and photo Op from the balcony.
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I loved this flower tree, so I stood beneath the branches on the last day I wore the gardeners hat and before we to dinner.

To add to this, I’m going to add an analogy a friend shared with me one day, a few months back. It holds weight concerning perception of ourselves and others, and I have reflected on her words more than once:

“There are giraffes and turtles. The giraffes are occupied looking up and pursuing possibilities while the turtles graze on lower possibilities.”

She shared this thought with me just after I had gotten finished going through a list of comparisons of myself versus a few other acquaintances. I think many people have this negative self-talk going on, and there are days we have to talk ourselves up from it.

The thing is, as I watched the giraffes nibble on the higher leaves of the trees and observed the huge tortoises below them, I knew I wanted to be the giraffe. My friend was sharing her faith in me that day, and today I’m giving it to you!

Being concerned with the turtles who are content on feeding on lower conclusions of themselves does not mean we giraffes of the world have to get down there with them. Some days we will lift the negativity from ourselves and be able to help others up. Other days, we may only be able to help ourselves up.

I know the big idea for me is to feed consistently from the upper branches while giving grace to myself and others going through the “turtle phase mentality.” This challenge is a work in progress, but I’ve come far in the past several months.

In the meantime, I’m keeping my eyes and heart open to receive and give grace. The posts will continue while seeking refuge in the possibilities while finding a way through moments when I think I’m a turtle! 😉

© Laurie Kozlowski 2015

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RWA Member | Founder of Book Escape Reviews | Pro Reader Participant, NetGalley | Founder/blogger @ luluzoko.com (Messy Muses, Children’s Books) | Also Tweets at: @nextbookescape (Book Escape Reviews)