Tales from the Trail

Safari time in Africa for first lady, family

June 25, 2011

After nearly a week of public diplomacy and outreach in Africa, U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and her family went on safari on Saturday and had an encounter with an elephant.

Obama, who is traveling on her second official solo trip abroad, went to see wildlife at Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa, roughly an hour away from Gaborone, Botswana, where she spent the previous night.

Together with her daughters, niece, nephew and mother, the first lady roamed the game park in an open-air vehicle, spending her final full day on the African continent engaging in a little touristic fun.

The elephant encounter happened toward the beginning of their tour, while reporters were waiting nearby for the one photo opportunity with the first lady in the park.

As her vehicle approached the spot where the press waited, it stopped and the family — with mouths gaping — turned their heads to see an elephant.

Journalists, not realizing what was happening nearby, walked toward the vehicle to get a picture, before a guide said it was not safe for them to be walking around.

Elephants, apparently, are the most dangerous animals in the park. Reporters scrambled back to their vehicle and got the picture of the first lady — without wildlife — a little later.

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/