October 15, 2014 Calgary Zoo

Bring Your Senses Alive on a Zoofari!


Do you use all of your senses in your daily life? In today’s society, we have become visual creatures. But what about our other senses? Re-awaken them when you join one of the Calgary Zoo’s African Zoofari programs. Perhaps in Tanzania or Kenya?

Here are a few ways your senses might be awakened while on safari:

  1. Taste – there is local cuisine to taste of course, but go further (with a guide’s help, of course!) and taste the flesh inside a baobab tree’s seed pod (it tastes like cream of tartar) or clean your teeth with a small branch from a toothbrush tree.
  2. Touch – feel the heat from the African sun on your skin, the delicacy of a guinea fowl feather, or the dryness of a giraffe’s scat. Yes, pick up that poop up so you can see and feel for yourself just how amazing a giraffe is at water retention. They look like Hershey’s Kisses, but that’s where the similarity ends!
  3. Vision – on safari, it can be difficult to know where to look!  Do you look far away or close to the vehicle, on the ground or in the trees, to the left or to the right, in front of you or behind you?  The answer is all of these – open your eyes wide and take it all in.
  4. Smell – maybe it is the scent of spices or flowers in bloom that you’ll remember, but if you’re really lucky you will smell an elephant in musth. This is a state of heightened testosterone that adult bull elephants cycle through. It smells like mouldy old socks that have been lying around in a hockey bag for months, but in context you’ll think it is the loveliest smell in the world!
  5. Hearing – sounds give you clues about what is happening around you. Listen to a bird’s call to help you spot it, or to a baboon’s alarm call to point you in the direction of that elusive leopard.

It’s all out there for you to discover!

Written by Trish Lund, photos by Malcolm & Trish Lund.

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