I Used to Be Afraid of Africa!

In two months, my whole family will be together again - in Africa.  This trip will be the highlight of my whole life, and yet not too long ago I would have been appalled at the very idea of going anywhere near the place.  It is certainly true that there are things to fear in Zambia.  There are rivers teeming with giant Crocodiles, for instance.  But crocodiles are not the creatures that keep me awake at night.

Of course, Hippos are even more dangerous than crocs.  If our boat were to get rammed and overturned by one of these guys (assuming the crocodiles didn't snatch us up first),  a hippo could bite us in half within seconds.  We'd be goners.  But again, the guides and pilots are extremely skilled, and they know how to avoid such situations.

Man eating lions are uncommon - but once in a great while shit happens. It isn't lions that I fear, however. In fact, we will be walking with lions in Livingstone!

I used to be afraid of Africa because I used to be utterly terrified of snakes, spiders. and scorpions - especially gigantic and deadly snakes  spiders, and scorpions such as those found in Zambia and Botswana.  The venomous Black Mamba pictured above is one of the most dangerous creatures on earth.  You probably noticed that the snake isn't black at all, but that's because it's named after the jet black interior of it's mouth.  If you actually get a glimpse of that black mouth, you are already in deep trouble!

The fat and massively huge Puff Adder is ubiquitous in Zambia and in Botswana, too.  There was a 9-foot specimen sitting under a tourist's lounge chair in the very lodge we'll be staying at just one year ago - with the tourist sitting contentedly in the chair sipping cocktails without a care in the world.  Had he known his butt was inches away from one of the deadliest snakes in Africa, maybe he would have decided against having that cocktail!.

The lure of Africa is haunting me, and the magic that is Africa is much more powerful than any phobia I may have.  If nothing else, I have learned that we can fight against our fears and we can win the fight. Even if the fear lingers, you win by refusing to let it control you.

Think about that for a moment.  So much of our lives are motivated by fears. Most of us are afraid of what other people think about us, for example, so we pretend to be just like everyone else.  In other words, we are afraid of being different, so we are afraid of anyone that is different.  We are afraid of being poor, so we are afraid of poor people.  It's crazy.   Fear makes us hate, too. I don't hate snakes because I think they are ugly; I hate them because I'm afraid of them.

What are you afraid of?



  1. Super exciting. I wish I was going!

  2. Wow-what an exciting trip to be going on! My fears are mostly connected to money or what might happen if I run out of it which is odd because I don't require a lot of material things.

    1. If I was wise about money (and I wish I were!), we wouldn't be going on this trip. Nonetheless, I'm thrilled to death to be going. Think of all the new BIRDS!


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