I was struck by how inefficient our quest was. Instead of traveling across the globe, what if we were to bring the wildlife to where the people are?! What if we put fences around this wildlife so that we wouldn't have to look hour upon hour to find them! Sure, I'm describing a zoo and despite its inefficiency the safari was so much better than a zoo. But why?
Our days typically started before dawn in the back of an open air Land Cruiser. Despite being less than a 100 miles from the equator, we were 5,000 above sea level under the watchful eye of a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro and I was freezing. Our days began with what the locals called the "African massage." The massage in reality was the sensation you got bouncing over the badly rutted dusty dirt roads. After 45 minutes I was numb from the combination of the massage and the temperature. And we still hadn't seen our first animal.
The idea of forgoing the travel, the temperature, the inconvenience and opting to visit a local zoo instead crossed my mind, but then we saw a herd of elephants and any discomfort was forgotten. In fact, these eight days were easily some of the most exciting of my life.
We learned that the elephants, wildebeests and gazelles were easy to spot, but as the trip wore on we realized just how hard it was to find the cats (lions, leopards and cheetahs). Add to that the desire to get close enough with good light to get a good photograph, was very much a challenge.
On safari I learned first hand that the difficulty of the journey ultimately plays a big role in driving the value of the destination. It was the challenge of finding animals in their natural habitat that made it so much more exciting than simply taking a camera to the zoo.
It's well documented that many find the process of shopping to be a similar thrill. Frankly, hunting for the right product or a great deal does nothing for me. I have to assume that few Jameco customers relish the challenge of finding the right electronic component among 50,000 choices online.
While we try to make the hunt "zoo-like" with a well organized catalog and a bunch of different ways to search, I know that it's not always that simple. If you ever find yourself hunting on our site, give us a call and let our team do the driving. Call us at 800-831-4242 and ask for the Technical team to do the hunting. Or send an email to: Tech@Jameco.com
If you have a story to tell about an exciting "hunt" please take a moment to drop me a note. In exchange I'll reply by sending you my favorite picture from the safari.
Vice President, Marketing