Soccer on Safari

You don’t see it coming.  You’re just living in the moment, taking it all in yet not necessarily thinking “I’m going to remember this forever.” But then it happens: you are just a couple of days post-vacation and you find yourself just smiling.  You’re reflecting on moments from the trip, that have now become memories specially etched in your heart,  memories that make you feel alive and help you understand the true meaning of “trip of a lifetime.”

I had one of those moments recently.  But first, a confession: I started drafting this when I had just returned from a fabulous 10-day luxury safari trip to beautiful Botswana. I got off track getting caught up on everything else and now, 2 months later, found myself recalling the fond memories of my trip which brings me to now.

It was actually all of the World Cup soccer excitement that got me thinking back to one of our most special and unique memories from our trip: playing soccer with the staff at Xigera Camp, a Wilderness Safari’s property.  The “field” was loosely plowed, elephant and impala scat was scattered about and between sage bush and palm fronds, and the goals were assembled by stakes and logs.  But it didn’t stop us from having a surprisingly competitive and thoroughly enjoyable match.

We cooled down with sundowners, only to realize we had an audience.  An adult male giraffe, in all of his gangley glory, appeared to want join the fun.  The soccer. The camaraderie. The audience (seen and unseen). All added up to make a single moment I will cherish forever.  This to me is something so remarkably unique about an African safari.  The memories simply grow richer and fonder as the time goes on.

soccer playing at xigera

Soccer on safari!

Here are a few fun out takes of the game:

Assembling the goals

Assembling the goals

Warming up!

Warming up!

Don't let the sandals fool you - he has skills!

Don’t let the sandals fool you – he has skills!

Game on!

Game on!

After soccer sundowners

After soccer sundowners

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