I had planned my tour group to finish with a riverboat safari on the Chobe river in Botswana. It's the most wonderful experience. There are fish eagles, spoonbills, yellow-billed storks, crocodiles, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, and lots of hippopotami:
There are also an enormous number of elephants. Previously, I've seen them swimming in the river; this time, they were just grazing by the river's edge. We stopped just a few yards from where one was deconstructing a tree.
"If that elephant jumps, your career is ruined!" commented one person. (At each meal, as well as during the bus rides, I speak about various animals in the Torah. Last night's topic was the famous/ infamous "jumping elephant" topic.)
We also went on game drives, in which the highlights were a lioness, and one of the most formidable animals in Africa: a honey badger.
There's so much more to tell about the people, places and animals that I saw during my trip, but it's time to get back to Rationalist Judaism, so this is the end of my Africa posts. Right now I am in JFK airport, waiting to fly out to LA, having passed through Botswana, Zambia and South Africa since I got out of bed 34 hours ago! In LA, I'll be speaking at Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, Sephardic Synagogue, and Beth Jacob.
The "Zoo Torah"/ "Torah in Motion" Africa trip was a tremendous success. The trip sold out, and we plan to run it again next summer. If you'd like to join, please write to me.