When I’m on safari in Africa I stand up on the seat of the open topped landrover, letting the dry winds tossle my hair and flip my hat almost inside out, breathing in the air and earth of the place of human’s ancestral beginnings.
East, west, north and south, against a limitless horizon, I watch herds of hundreds of thousands of zebra and wildebeest trek in lines across the plains, on their instinctual migration toward fresh grass.
I like to imagine myself barefoot on the land walking among the lions and elephants, as a tribal bushwoman in search of water and tuberous roots, or a young Maasai herder leading his family’s goats and cows to new grass. As them, I imagine my senses awake and alive as never before. Being able to smell the earthy musty notes of an animal long before I see it. Being able to know if it is a predator or prey. Perhaps a young male elephant in musth or a leopard hunting.
On safari I am as one with nature as I will ever be – I belong, like the animals roaming around me. I have no desires and need nothing more than all that is in front of me. I am completely content. Completely present.
No matter the stress of my life back home – the over doing, over consuming, over intellectualizing – after a safari in Africa I’m back to my ‘one’, that centered quiet place inside each of us. That place that reminds me to notice, to be present, to connect; to breathe deeply and walk slowly.
No other place on earth touches me deep inside the way Africa does. No other experience leaves me with a deep feeling of love, stillness and spiritual knowing the way being on safari in Africa does.
And when I’m not in Africa, I seek out wild places and wild animals wherever I go to remind myself of who I truly am. One with Nature.
*Feature photo by Beverly Joubert.