Our aim is to create meaningful travel experiences. Judging from the lovingly rendered drawing and painting Betsey MacDonald has done since returning from our Serengeti Wildlife Safari, we’re glad to see we met that goal.

The Serengeti Wildlife Safari with Wilderness Travel was the trip of a lifetime and will serve as my artistic inspiration for years to come. I am a painter and animals are my passion. For years I have painted domestic animals with wildlife being limited to an occasional white-tailed deer, osprey, or songbird. On our safari, I took over 2,000 photographs–our guides went above and beyond to offer us incredible photographic opportunities. The pictures I’ve used as references for painting are focused on connections between animals.
Charcoal drawing on rice paper of mother elephant with baby

[Charcoal drawing on rice paper]

Mother elephants are vigilant protectors of their newborns and youngsters. We saw hundreds of elephants on our trip, many nursing or standing over the little ones, always watching and keeping them safe.
Oil painting of zebra with birds[Oil painting]

Equines, whether domestic or wild, like this common zebra, enjoy the company of other hoofed animals. They are even willing to carry birds along in trade for some insect-picking.
Ink drawing on rice paper of elephants sparring [Ink drawing on rice paper]

Young male elephants spar and play just like teenagers. It’s amazing to me the consistency of behaviors across species, including humans!
Oil painting of zebra scratching [Oil painting]

We like to call this one “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Animals have good buddies who they choose to hang with and share in the fun.
Watercolor of lion cub in tree [Watercolor painting]

It’s amazing how a lion cub can look so cute and cuddly as a juvenile, and grow into the king or queen of beasts. We actually saw nine lions in this tree! Three adult females and six cubs, all resting peacefully.
Oil painting of male lion head[Oil painting]

And, of course, the king of safari. We often saw male lions alone, but also sometimes lolling with a buddy or enjoying a drink together.

I have so much more to paint as a result of this inspirational trip. My husband and I watched and learned and tried to absorb the majesty of the Serengeti and the other amazing conservation areas we visited. It sounds crazy, but we both feel changed as a result of this incredible experience. We can’t wait for our next WT adventure!

—Text and artwork by Betsey MacDonald, Serengeti Wildlife Safari.

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