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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Safari - Africa Or Your Own Backyard

Thursday, April 30, 2015


to Africa or to your own backyard. 

I live in the countryside with no city codes 
that regulate lawns, gardens, fences, driveways, etc...  
Neighbors are out of sight which provides homeowners 
freedom to design their properties as they choose 
which is a major factor in why we choose to live in the countryside. 

We can have tall grass without causing a problem, and  
we can have a safari setting. 

Here are ways to make either a safari to Africa or to your backyard 
one that follows the traditions of long-ago, big-game African safaris. 

A cotton safari jacket is a requirement to hold travel necessities. 
With at least four pockets, there is room for a small digital camera, 
spare batteries, extra lenses, and personal items like tissues and snacks. 

The long sleeves are perfect for an added layer in cool mornings 
and nights and can be taken off during the middle of the day. 
The majority of safari wear to Africa is khaki colored, 
but a navy blue safari jacket works as a neutral with most colors. 

This very jacket went on safari to Africa. 

Navy blue safari jacket in Kenya 

Sturdy navy blue leather low heel boots offer support 
over uneven terrain and in tall grasses. 
Shoes taken on trips should always be ones that have been worn 
for several weeks beforehand so that the shoes do not cause blisters.  
A once-in-a-lifetime trip is no fun with feet that hurt. 

After an exciting day filled with spotting exotic animals, 
a good chair in which to relax is also a must. 

Traveling many miles a day and making camp in the wild calls 
for a chair that is easy-to-transport. 
The same can be said for outdoor chairs at home; 
the chairs must be easy to move from storage to the deck, patio, 
or to the yard for an at-home safari. 

Just because a chair must be functional doesn't mean 
it can't also be pretty. 
With very little fabric this director's chair's seat and back 
went from plain canvas to a rose-covered trellis pattern. 
 Victorian travelers carried china, crystal, and silver on safari with them. 
Having a beautiful folding chair follows that tradition. 

Small wooden folding tables are also easy to transport 
and can withstand changes in the weather. 

In camp, tables hold reading material, lanterns, and personal items. 

No television, no Internet service, and no electricity in the wild 
encourage conversations, reading, and quiet reflection. 
Sitting in the backyard at home also encourages slowing down 
and enjoying those same things. 

Reading glasses, a magnifying glass, and field glasses 
make sure nothing is missed up close or from afar.  

A set of field glasses for each person on safari guarantees no one 
misses seeing the elusive game animals. 

A hard navy faux crocodile case protects glasses 
while traveling in the bush and while outside at home. 

To make the most of any trip, read travel guides before choosing where to travel. 
Make a list of the places and things high on the safari list. 
Mount Kilimanjaro, Victoria Falls, Serengeti migration, Massai villages, etc... 

Consider which animals to see are a must and 
where those animals are most likely to be seen. 
Lions, cheetahs, rhinoceros, water buffalo, elephants, zebras, giraffes, etc... 

What kind of accommodations? 
A tent in the bush? 
A luxury tent? 
Overlooking a watering hole for the animals? 
A treetop hotel? 

Then match travel guide descriptions for places that offer the most things on the list. 

On a backyard safari, read the travel guides and an atlas 
to plan dream safaris for the future. 

In addition to reading material, a safari table also holds  
items for living in the outdoors. 

A large lantern provides light on the table for evening conversations. 

A small ceramic oil lamp is easy for an individual to carry at night 
to light the way from the sitting area to the sleeping area. 

An antique French wasp catcher lures a variety of flying insects 
to provide environmental-friendly and time-proven insect control. 
My good friend, Dana, at The Starfish Studio, found several of these 
antique French wasp catchers at an antique store that was going out of business. 
She graciously bought one for me, too, and shipped it to me. 
She may have some in her Etsy shop. 

A final view of the at-home safari table and chair 
shows the narcissi in the tall rye grass. 
Narcissi should be allowed to grow until 
they naturally fall over and go dormant 
in order for the plants to store nutrients in the bulbs 
for next spring's blossoms. 

Living in the country allows us to leave the 
bulbs and rye grass unmown until nature completes its task. 
The narcissi leaves are beginning to brown 
so it won't be long before it's time to mow. 

Do you have everything needed for your own safari?

Safari Checklist
  1. Safari jacket
  2. Sturdy boots
  3. Folding chair
  4. Folding table
  5. Safari travel guides
  6. Field glasses
  7. Table lantern
  8. Wasp catcher

May your life be filled with moments to savor 
a safari at home, unmown grass, and good conversations. 

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