2nd Banjo Safari Big Success!

PRESCRIPTION BLUEGRASS IMAGE - ROSS NICKERSONRoss Nickerson provided this guest-blogger article on his recent Banjo Safari to Africa.


Hello Folks,

We’ve just returned from our second Banjo Safari and the trip was even better than the first. I wasn’t sure what it would be like returning for a second Safari. With the first time being special to me I almost didn’t want to mess with the memory.

The good news is that animals are so unpredictable I saw completely new things this year along with lots of animals I missed the first time. I was really pleased it was a new fun experience.

Prescription Bluegras Image Banjo Safari directorySome of the highlights were; Black Rhino which are rare and hard to find, Hippos, Cheetahs and of course Lions, Elephants, White Rhinos, the endangered Wild Dogs, Jackals, Hyenas, Wildebeests along with many other of the fascinating animals and birds in Africa.

Giraffes in the wild are really special, seeing them is like being in Jurassic Park. They move gracefully and look prehistoric against the African landscape, especially at sunset. Watching a Giraffe take a drink of water is a real treat, seeing how they have to bend their legs.

We also witnessed two lions killing a 6 year old elephant which was highly unusual and certainly brought up a range of emotions for everyone there. The most incredible thing happened the next day though. Over 100 elephants gathered, ran the lions off and walked in procession by the dead elephant. That was overwhelming that elephants could communicate and gather like that. My guess is the lions better watch their back. Elephants in the wild are dangerous, they are really strong and can run fast, we got charged last year and it scared the (you know what) out of me.

My students were all happy with the Banjo Workshop and I felt as though I really connected with them on a lot of things that will help them improve. We were able to spend a couple hours a day picking and working on everyone’s individual needs.

I spent quite a bit of time helping the students to play by ear, practice more efficiently, understand timing, learn to accent the melody and most of all pick steady.

We practiced on a few songs to play for the children at a local tribal school. That was a great experience for the students and the children could not have been more appreciative.

Several of the wives' and couples that came along on the safari brought gifts for the children and that was heartwarming. Visiting Africa reminds us all of how privileged we are here at home.

All in all I am one fortunate banjo player for being part of this experience. We are planning our next Banjo Safari and Workshop for November 1st, 2015.

I’ve helped arrange to have Steve Kaufman have a guitar workshop and Safari next year in November. Guitar players, check Steve’s schedule for more information.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, thanks for being interested,

Ross Nickerson

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