I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many truly amazing places thus far in my lifetime, but it’s taken me until now to set foot on the African continent. Finally, everything fell into place to make it happen this past month. I had the time (always the hardest part about getting away!) and an enthusiastic travel companion, and the trip fit in perfectly with my personal agenda of doing some reading up on International Wildlife Law during summer break. What better way to follow up reading about wildlife than by hanging out with the elephants and leopards themselves? After landing in South Africa and spending our sixth wedding anniversary at African Rock Hotel in Johannesburg, my husband Seth and I headed to Zimbabwe. The chance to be with the animals in their own environment is an experience that I wish each person could have at some point during his or her lifetime. We encountered all kinds of animals — animals I didn’t even know existed before this trip. And we did so quietly and respectfully, mindful not to intrude upon them or disrupt nature in progress. We were there simply to bear witness. I remain in awe of the power and peace one finds co-existing in the wilderness.

To read more of Sharon’s experience in Africa, click here.