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Biggs on Finance, Economics, and the Stock Market: Barton's Market Chronicles from the Morgan Stanley Years by Barton Biggs

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Africa

September 8, 1980

We went on a safari in Kenya, and I recommend it for the soul and the psyche, but also because it is a totally different experience. We all need an utter cultural change every so often to blow out the dust and debris, and Africa and the animals are, in my opinion, the ultimate catharsis. It is as though your mind runs transported on a fresh, deep track totally away from the stock market, analysts, and buy-sell decisions. The teenagers and children along also were enthralled.

Africa is a long way away, and safaris aren't cheap, but it will leave you and your family with something different to remember when all those vacations at Vail and the beach have blurred with the years to sameness. In other words, the trip is worth the added money, but don't wait too long because economic and social change is rapid in East Africa, and no one can predict how long the animals and the land will be left wild. No shooting of animals is allowed in Kenya, although big game hunting is allowed in Tanzania.

Kenya lies along the equator, but the game reserves are mostly in the broad highlands at altitudes of 3,000 to 7,000 feet. The landscape is like nothing I have ever seen. As Isak Dinesen once said, there is no fat on it, no luxuriance, it is Africa distilled up through 6,000 feet, like the strong and refined essence of a continent. The colors are very clear but dry and burnt like fine, burnished old pottery, yet where a river winds, there are dyes of deep rich greens from ...

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