Feb 08

The Romance of Africa

One has only to look at the epic Hollywood love stories set in Africa --Casablanca, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Out of Africa, The English Patient, to name just a few -- to understand that there is something about the continent that captures the heart and won’t let it go. In fact, you may have seen that even Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard got in on the cinematic action with their viral video homage to Toto’s eponymous ‘80s anthem.

Of course, we at the Omaha Zoo Foundation have been in love with Africa for quite some time – so much so that we have recreated large parts of it in Omaha, including within the Lied Jungle and, most recently, the African Grasslands exhibit.

We have also organized tours of some of our favorite African destinations, often led by Dr. Lee G. Simmons (“Doc”) and his wife, Marie, who have both had a lifelong love affair with the region. In fact, Doc and Marie, along with a group of several supporters of the Omaha Zoo Foundation, are on safari in Tanzania right now.

"Tanzania is the type of trip people think of as the essence of Africa,” Doc has said. Indeed, the itinerary is a cinematographer’s dream: from game drives where the group will see elephant, buffalo, zebra, monkeys, all number of birds, and perhaps even a tree-climbing lion; to lodging with fantastic 180 degree views over Lake Masek where the great annual wildebeest migration will be underway, to peaceful sunset photo ops with the landscape's magnificent baobab trees.

Talk about the perfect romantic getaway. But don’t despair if you were not able to arrange a trip for you and your beloved this time around, we are also planning a safari in Zambia in May!

For those who may not be able to swing either this year, the Omaha Zoo Foundation has plenty of opportunities to bring a piece of Africa into your life by adopting an animal for someone you love. Your support not only helps us care for the animals at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, it helps us maintain and grow our conservation efforts to ensure that we’ll always have the animal magnetism of Africa to set our hearts aflutter.