Tracking side by side on Safari with a remarkable diversity of animals, including the the “Big Five”, is truly a Spiritual experience. As the trivia and noise of western society subsides into oblivion, One’s senses are instantly ignited. Initially self preservation kicks in; then you realize, they’re watching you watch them and they really don’t give a dam how many “likes” you’ll get on instagram!
The African “Big Five” include; Lions, Leopards , Buffalo, Rhinos and Elephants, named so by hunters from the colonial era as they were deemed the most difficult and dangerous to kill. However, I’m officially going on record and upping the number to the “Big Seven”, as Giraffes are certainly the tallest of all animals and Cheetahs the fastest!
Watching them watch me, I’m reminded that we are all the same, living, breathing creatures of the animal kingdom.We just prefer to adorn ourselves with fancy clothing, or in my case for this trip, sparkling leopard toes! Mothers protect, guide and nurture the young, while territorial males dominate their prey, as they go in or out for the kill!
Survival of the fittest is the law of the land, or so I thought. In the wildeness, it’s not only survival of the fittest, but survival of the PRESENT; those who are best in tune with nature and all that surrounds their own being.
The pair of cheetahs we tracked with had gone days without food, yet they moved with calculated precision and patience as they surveyed the distance to their prey. Their bodies intuitively knew how much energy they would need to secure their next meal. They listened and trusted their internal compass as they knew to make a wrong move would weaken their own chances of survival.
There is nothing that can quite prepare you for the seduction and splendor of an African preserve, for the playfulness, intensity and innocence of the animals and game which through conservation programs can roam free.
The trappings of our everyday life became so insignificant and such nonsense as we embraced the quietness of the rising sun and the rich fulfillment of it’s setting each evening. Being on Safari truly is an spiritual experience ….as being PRESENT becomes the norm… there’s no rush for tomorrow…only the connection with the moment, the land and the animals that inhabit it.