Maun, Botswana

There was rain! After months of dry, hot, hazy and sandy conditions, the showers of the skies were like a kiss from above.

It was the last day of our data collection week in the middle of the Okavango Delta. My colleague had spotted them the day before and talked a local guide into braving our manhood. While the morning light was still peacefully awakening the nature around us, we set out in the white, EU-sponsored Land Rover toward the target - a fallen elephant surrounded by a dozen munching lions! The sound of the engine right next to the dead elephant made the lions halt their pursuit. The guide braved us to go for a stroll! As crazy as it sounds, we jointly stepped out of the jeep and, in formation, walked slowly toward the elephant. Upon sensing us, the lions retracted to the tall, beige grass surrounding us. We could peacefully walk to the elephant and the place where the lions had just been munching, sensing the red flesh, the rough skin and the thick black hair. A surreal, scary and thrilling moment all at once!We had walked among lions - our manhood had been established.

The times in Southern Africa were thrilling, inspiring and extremely demanding at the same time. The stories are endless on walking among lions, swimming in crocodile waters, keeping cobras out of the house, swimming with penguins, upsetting hippos, being tickled by an elephant's trunk, and enjoying culinary dishes of Okavango bream, elephants, zebras & kudus. Profoundly enduring are the memories of the African rythm and the eternal perspective on time.