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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. 

Don't forget you can share a link to this post with just a click of a button for email, your blog, twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+1 by using the buttons near the Comments. 


  1. Looks like you had lots of fun staging this post! Love your boots and all your Safari props for your post. I'm very fornuate to live in the city that has no regulations and homes reflect the personal choice of their owners.

  2. Hi Judith! The wasp catcher notwithstanding, this post is wonderful. I really love those reading glasses. A small detail obviously can add so much to a photo. All the photos are beautiful and I'm glad you have such a bucolic setting at your home. East Africa is a magical place and you recreated the mood so accurately. Thank you for mentioning The Starfish Studio. I have about 4 more wasp catchers that have not made it to Etsy yet. I keep wondering if I should give one of them a try on the deck. If it's ever warm enough to sit outside I might add a bit of hummingbird nectar to the wasp catcher and set it on the deck railing. Thanks so sincerely for tagging me in this excellent post!

  3. Judith, this is all so beautiful! Everything looks so interesting and the details fit together perfectly. I know it was ever so interesting in Africa and that you have many wonderful stories to share about that trip!

  4. Bonjour Judith!

    No matter what the setting, to be away from the urgency, noise, distractions and made-made influences that crowd our minds, NATURE is important in our lives. Now that the weather is better finally, plans of being in my urban garden are making me happy because just hearing the birds is a delight! Getting my hands dirty in the garden, planning what flowers I'll be planting and enjoying the shadows that the sun casts are what I'm looking forward to in just a few weeks when school is DONE!

    I wish you a contemplative and perfect day in your safari! Anita

  5. You certainly captured the safari atmosphere! I enjoyed this post - it made me think of Out of Africa, one of my favourite movies, and of Karen Blixen, one of my favourite old writers.

  6. I love this post. As a child I dreamed of exotic African photo safaris, my head full of 'Born Free' daydreams.

  7. What a great setting! I love that you have the freedom to have tall grass and wild plants to frame this wonderful outdoor sitting area! What a great place to daydream or plan the next safari! I'm on a blog reading blitz today having been too busy to read my favorite blogs the past several weeks. As always yours delights me!

  8. What a clever and romantic idea, travelling in your back yard!

    The wasp catcher is not merely essential, it is beautiful.

  9. Oh what fun! That movie inspires me too!

  10. Judith, this is a delightful way to enjoy country living! We also live in the country with pastures and foothills! Thank you for sharing! I spotted you on Savvy Southern Style! Blessings, Pam (

  11. I loved this post! Everything you put together was so nice! Very unique. I love the country too (I live in the city, but grew up in the country) Diane

  12. What a wonderful post. I love your beautiful setting and all your wonderful special touches to make it feel like Africa. Thank you so much for sharing it with Share It One More Time. Cathy

  13. How delightful! And such beautiful photos! I really enjoyed this!
    Thank you so very much for sharing at the Something to Talk About link party Judith!

  14. love how you styled your safari "shoot". the table has all the necessities, and that jacket and boots are wonderful! Here's to Karen Blixen!

  15. there is room for a small digital camera,
    spare batteries, extra lenses, and personal items like tissues and snacks. Safari Africa


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