This past Christmas was one of those times to throw yourself upon the mercy of your travel agent. After an "annus horribilis,” every photograph of me looked as grim as the events I'd faced. “We need a safari for Christmas,” I begged Teresa at Mango Safaris, “oh… and I can barely move." It was December 8th. Teresa “got it” instantly. We flew for 24 hours, in wide-bodies and “puddle jumpers," but upon arrival in the bush everything had changed. Hippos mated outside our tent. Forty elephants gathered right across “our” river. Giraffe, impala, hyena and warthog families scampered through our lush (and unbelievably luxurious) camp. By Christmas, "our" guide and "our" hosts felt like family, and “our” hippos were a nightly laugh. Before New Years’ we’d had monkeys steal our underwear (after using our tent as a ski jump), seen elephants use our porch as a sidewalk, had a troop of forty baboons run through the elevated walks like a freight train, seen a leopardess carrying her kit right beside us, and followed a lioness on the hunt. By the time we got to the white rhinos, our first truly and utterly footloose and carefree trip as a family, and Africa herself, had worked its magic.
– Christmas Miracle