Directions for Visiting the Cheetah Refuge in Djibouti

The first thing you do when you are on your way to a cheetah refuge is climb into a very old van with 24 other people that has no air conditioning. Then you drive through piles and piles of trash on the side of the road. Some of it will look cool, like big mashed up cars and appliances, and some of it will stink, very, very badly. You may narrow your eyes as the smell becomes unbearable and realize that what you are seeing is no longer trash, but decaying animal parts. You will try not to vomit on the two people that are practically sitting in your lap and then you will grab your camera and snap a picture!

Things will get better after that. First the van will drive over bumpy ground that will make you realize that maybe you need an extra bra for your love-handles, and then realize that maybe this counts as exercise! You are jiggling and sweating… But then the road smooths out and you see a nifty little hut and a tiny little animal with horns that seems friendly. You will exit the van and bravely pet the little goat/antelope thing for another picture.

You will look around and realize that the whole place is open. For a moment you become terrified that you will mauled by a cheetah!

Then you will read the sign coming in and remind yourself not to "SCREAM OR RUN"

if you do get mauled by a cheetah. You will laugh, realize there are fences and relax. You will commune with nature and see interesting trees and animals. You will call your trip to the cheetah refuge a success!

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