From the moment we landed on the tiny airstrip in the middle of the bush and stepped out of our tiny plane, I knew we had entered a particularly special place. The mornings were the most peaceful — sitting quietly in the shade of a large tree as the dreamiest, soft golden light (oh, that light!) drenches a leopard protecting last night’s kill or a herd of impala galloping into the distance or even an elephant (silently!) walking along the vast expanse of the african bush, is an incredible experience.
Of course, the evenings were an entirely different creature, rife with the activity of animals moving around the bush only a few feet away: the graceful movement of a leopard as it climbs down a tree, a sea of zebra stripes horsing around, a cheetah feasting on it’s latest kill, a pride of lions gathered around a watering hole.
It’s impossible to forget the thrill of seeing a standoff between buffalo and lions and watch, with bated breath, if a fight is about to ensue. Or the anxiety of sitting under a quickly darkening sky, with an ominous storm approaching and catching glimpses of lions through flashes of lightening, as they stealthily prepare to hunt.
Or the fear of sitting in a completely open jeep as a leopard walks right by you and looks directly into your eyes, into what feels like deep into your soul. Or even the calm of being caught in the middle of a herd of elephants peacefully strolling across the savannah, munching on overhanging branches along the way. But mostly, it’s impossible to forget that feeling, of being out in the bush, so close to nature and some of it’s most dangerous and beautiful creatures.
South Africa has captured my heart for sure and I’m convinced this is only the beginning of a life-long love affair…
Written Malika Luthra