This year, winter pretty much blew off the Northwest. I am not asking for pity, we’ll get ours soon, and shit – Oregon has glaciers and skilled snow farming teams, so don’t dispair – summer shredding will still happen. But, as a generally spoiled and particular Portland resident, I just couldn’t get into it. I mean, it’s March and the only “powder days” we’ve had at Mt. Hood, I’ve managed to miss up being on the road. It seems to be a certainty that if I leave town, the Oregon skies will finally cooperate, even if it is only with a few inches at a time. So, as February waned on with dry, sunny skies and warm temps, I felt it was time to do something drastic. Not for me, but for all the other snow deprived residents in the Northwest. I booked a ticket to Africa.
They actually do have snowboarding in Africa. Lesotho, a country that is literally in the middle of South Africa, has mountains and a ski resort, but being in the Southern Hemisphere, it is technically summer there. So that was out of the question. Instead, I opted for what any good red-blooded American would do – I went on a damn safari!
Giraffes are the only mammals born with fully formed horns – to protect their heads when they fall out of their mom at birth. Of all the animals in the bush, I’m pretty sure that the giraffe would have the hardest time snowboarding, but hey, at least they wouldn’t have to wear a helmet.
There is definitely some jib trick to be invented with elephants, assuming you could train them to hold their trunks steady and didn’t get hung up on their tusks.
Since we have buffulo in America, it was only so exciting to see these lazy bastards lounging around in the river, trying to keep cool.
Despite their utter adorableness, the velvet monkeys would not make great pets. The little jerks bite.
Africa lacks much in the way of water, so this warthog family was probably stoked to find a delicious tar-flavored puddle.
Gonna be honest, after seeing giant, dangerous creatures all day, birds are kind of whatever.
Moments after posing for this photo, this baboon sprinted into the bush and got in a fight. Probably also not a good pet. Plus they never shut up.
The white striped Kudu. I don’t remember any fun facts about these.
Impala were everywhere in Kruger National park. They have a M-shaped marking on their back, which apparently stands for “money-back,” meaning that if you don’t see one while you’re there, you should get your money back. We saw hundreds of them.
These antelope secrete a smell that crocodiles find highly offensive when they get wet to ward off attack. Meanwhile, crocodiles kill humans all the time in Africa, mostly women doing their laundry in the river. It’s a harsh world out there, kids.
There are only 200 cheetahs in all of Kruger National Park, so seeing one is kind of a big deal. Accordingly, there will be a large number of blurry, poorly composed photos of this guy.
Meanwhile, in the urban jungle that is Johannessburg, I became acutely aware of just how white I am. But it was great, now I know how black people feel at ski resorts and am a better person because of it. Not only that, it worked! Mt Hood got some snow. So you’re welcome.