I’ve written here already about wild animals and you know we cover conservation, but let’s take a minute to talk about another important part of the safari experience. Luxury. The “tents” with wood floors and hot water bottles. The hibiscus flower arrangements and tablecloths out in the bush, so you can breakfast whilst gawking at hippos in the river.*
*Remember: there’s always a 4-1 hippo rule: four you can’t see for every one you can. You are probably surrounded. Enjoy that muffin.
And of course, who can forget the crown jewel of the luxurious safari? The sundowner. The moment when you stop watching wild dogs and hyena battling over a fresh kill, or lion cubs playing, or a leopard dragging a baby giraffe carcass into a tree and drive somewhere semi-safe to nurse your gin-and-tonic and watch the sunset in the lurid, red-streaked sky.*
*Actually, you should probably not stop watching any of that. Sunset is the best time for wildlife! Even if you’re not able to see the safari in person. Which brings me to…
The Joy of Armchair Drinking Safaris.
Yes, Armchair Drinking Safaris. It’s officially “a thing,” starting… now!
Hear me out. Have you ever watched Safari LIVE? It’s TV for 2018: the soothing, chatty commentary of The Great British Bake-Off meets the visceral rush of Game of Thrones. They call themselves the “Safari Soap Opera” for a reason. If you’re not already watching these live safari installments, I have to ask: where, exactly, are you getting your fix of wildebeest giving birth? Are you not entertained? In our current political climate, is this not more cathartic television than anything short of Arya’s Frey Faceoff?
Starting this Sunday after the Big Game (get it?), the show is airing for five straight nights. The program broadcasts game drives from Sabi Sands, South Africa, and the Maasai Mara, Kenya, zooming in on all kinds of wildlife, from big cats to bugs. It’s the circle of life and you’re all up in it.
As co-founder Graham Wallington puts it, “Everything about how we build our safari experience recreates exactly what it feels like to be on the vehicle.”
I’ve tagged along in the back of Mara Safari LIVE vehicle and watched an impressive amount of broadcasting, and let me tell you: watching from home has its benefits. All of the excitement of a game drive, none of the danger of tumbling-while-tipsy out of the vehicle to being eaten by lions.
Note: Throughout the week of February 4th, Safari LIVE is giving normals-like-us the chance to win a full luxury African safari by playing interactive bingo.*
*I, on the other hand, am offering absolutely nothing for you to play my SAFARI SUNDOWNER DRINKING GAME except the utter joy of it, so you should definitely prioritize mine.
Without further ado…
THE SAFARI SUNDOWNER DRINKING GAME:
Well, okay, one more ado. For our purposes, a “drink” is a sip of your favorite poison. A proper sundowner is a gin and tonic, but we’ll forgive you if your tastes run less to, um, imperialism and more to…anything else.