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Attorney Takes A Break – Robb Schotthoefer

Attorney Robb Schotthoefer needed to take a break from his practice at Sather, Byerly & Holloway. Having worked as an “in-house” civil litigation attorney since 1998, Robb had been busy defending his clients and putting in very long hours. Now he knew it was time for a break; a time to revitalize and step out of the bounds of a normal vacation.

Every since he was a kid growing up in rural Oregon, Robb has always dreamed of seeing Africa. It seemed like a fabled land – full of animals, interesting tribes, true adventure and mystery. At the beginning of 2004, Robb and his friend decided to spend a couple weeks exploring the hills of Kilimanjaro, driving through the Serengetti in search of animals, and looking for adventure. They found it.

What country in Africa did you visit? For how many days?
My friend and I went to Tanzania in East Africa for about 18 days.

What was the first thing you noticed immediately after you arrived?
A landrover waiting for me to take me up the foothills of Kilimanjaro. My bag was thrown on top and tied down, and I thought “I’m not in Kansas anymore.” The air felt fresh, especially with the cooling of the air as the sun was setting when I exited the airport. In summary, it felt “wild” and “untamed” the minute I left the airport.

How many days were you on safari? Was it enough?
5 days. Yes, it was enough to see every animal imaginable. Don’t get me wrong, an extra few days would have been great, but 5 days was sufficient. Your 200th giraffe just isn’t as exciting as your first 50.

Did you stay in a lodge or camp? How would you rate

I stayed in a Lodge at Serengeti, Manyara, and Ngorongoro Crater. Back home, I camp a lot, but having a lodge to shower, relax, and eat after a dusty hot day scoping out wildlife was nice. Not to mention that a nice dip in the pool at Manyara was very refreshing after a hot day.

I’m sure camping in the parks has its benefits, but it is damn hot out

What kinds of animals did you see? Did you see anything that was absolutely amazing?
We began to keep a list of all the animals we saw, but to our surprise, it became so large that we stopped keeping track. We saw everything: leopard, cheetahs, rhino, lions, monkeys, elephants, giraffes,
zebras, baboons.

It was absolutely amazing to see a rhino at a very close distance (maybe 100 feet). In addition, coming around a corner in Manyara and almost colliding with a 15 foot giraffe was very cool. I essentially laid
down on the top of the LandRover and snapped a photo of the giraffe as it looked down on me. It’s lower body only 2 feet from my face.

Did you have any other experiences with locals?

I stayed at a small intimate Lodge in the foothills of Kilimanjaro. Every day and night, I interacted with the local kids. It was essentially like staying with an African family. We ate the food cooked by the local woman and hung out in her kitchen while she cooked, hung out by the fire with the local kids, “attempted” to interact with the beer drinkers at the local mud hut bar.

We met an entire Massai village after a circumcision ceremony. We crouched down and ate a rice dish with them with our bare hands while they talked and we listed (through an interpreter) about their village and how they do not understand American military tactics.

Overall, would you recommend people visiting this