Holly Wilson is going to be embarking on her next trip to the African continent this August. So far she has seen South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She made these trips with her late husband Howie from 2001 and 2006. “We discovered that the WildEarth drives became an extension to our trips and the next best thing to being on a live drive!”

Holly and her late husband Howie (left) and friends.

“I have watched Marc (Weiner) doing his try-out drive and Karula raising Mixo and Induna and many other cubs,” she says. Holly and Howie experienced so many memorable animal encounters together. The live drives are now giving her the opportunity to learn about and experience even more. “This drive is so informative as well as entertaining and it is even better than a real drive as WE have come to follow and know many of the animals from Karula to the hyena.”

Female leopard and cub at Londolozi, photo by Holly Wilson

Since Howie’s passing in 2014 after a long illness, Holly has continued to watch the drives, the Pete’s Pond cam and the Arathusa cam. She will be staying at Arathusa, and hopes to see the animals that have entertained her for so many years, in person. She feels a deep connection, not only to the live drives and the animals, but the land itself. “Being in Africa is like coming home for me. I feel a pull to return and be grounded in the earth there.”

Coffee break at Londolozi. Howie Wilson (far right), photo by Holly Wilson

Holly’s enthusiasm for the drives and the safari experience is infectious. She participates in the chat discussions as ‘Savuti’, named for a tented camp she visited in Botswana. “My favorite moments on the drives have been watching Karula’s cubs grow up. I loved watching Mixo and Induna play with each other and with Karula and I have loved sightings where there have been multiple generations of leopards! Following the animals for so long gives a depth to the safari that can’t be had on a live safari trip!”

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