About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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13 Comments

on Why Two out of Five Senses Simply Can’t Re-create the Magic

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

It is so true James. There is nothing, no video and no picture that can compare with the real experience. The potato bush is flowering for the first time after I planted it a few years ago. I wanted to post a photo of the flowers on Instagram but thought that to capture the smell is just not possible. You’ve got to experience it for real.

Vin Beni
Senior Digital Ranger

James,
You’ve captured the difficulty I’ve had for years attempting to “explain” our recurring visits to those who have never been.
Appreciated your mention of the smell of the potato bush, an experience we had not had previously and which was pointed out repeatedly by a novice visitor.

Joan Schmiidt
Digital Tracker

James, I totally agree, the smell of the bush, the quiet hearing, and the taste of the gin & tonic!
What an amazing story.

Karen Hart
Digital Ranger

So true. All the movies, videos, television programs can not adequately explain the experience of a safari: the subtle differences in attitude of the animals, their lack of aggression toward those in the safari vehicles, the incredible shock of looking a wild cat directly in the eye and seeing their intelligence and strength, the overwhelming beauty of the land undisturbed by human settlement. You are correct, James, it must be experienced first hand to truly understand – and that is why so many keep returning time and time again.

Jeff Rodgers
Senior Digital Ranger

Thank you for writing about the key to truly understanding the joy of a game drive . . . just close your eyes and listen, take in the smells of the bush . . . listen when the Ranger stops to describe the medicinal value of a plant or a bush or taste the raw fruit from a Marula tree that the Elephants love so much. That is the joy of a game drive.

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

It is hard to put the total safari experience into words, but you’ve done an admirable job, Janes. I wish all my friends could experience even one safari day at Londolozi – and they, too, would be as ‘hooked’ as I am!

Victoria Auchincloss
Senior Digital Ranger

Well said, so true. Listening to a lion call on your phone in your living does not compare to hearing him call and not be sure where he is. Victoria

Ian Hall
Digital Tracker

Ah, it can be a deeply spiritual feeling as well, and that certainly goes beyond the normal five senses

Darlene Knott
Digital Tracker

Absolutely the truth, James! You have to be there to know what it really ‘feels like’. No photo, no video can ever replicate sitting in the Land Rover, observing every detail with all your senses, up close and personal! ❤️

Kay Schmid
Explorer

James, no truer words were ever written. My most vivid memory, from a September visit to Djuma, was the refrigerator cold at the bottom of the hill on Gowrie Main at 6 o’clock in the morning. You have to BE there.

Bob & Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Once again James you have exactly captured the almost indescribable essence of a safari in the bush. I have copied that into a note for us to give those who ask us why we go back to Africa over and over. Your words capture that elusive but transformative sense that can only be felt by being in the land rover as those events occur!!! Kudos once again!

Andrew & Daniel Bolnick
Senior Digital Ranger

James, the experience of my visit lives in my mind. Any picture or video brings me back to the reality of the moment. You never lose that. I live each day with this blog and some others and place myself behind the camera as if am am there. Now having said this it’s time to come back. Greatest experience of my life. Best vacation I have ever taken. If I were younger I would apply for a Ranger training program

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

So perfectly expressed James for all of those reading the Londolozi blog. The armchair traveler can tune into a series of wildlife documentaries, seeing lion kills, birth of an elephant, wild dogs in a hunting frenzy but the adrenaline rush of experiencing all of these from the seat of a Land Rover is unparalleled. After a first trip to Africa, one knows a return visit is inevitable- the smell of the bush after an early morning rain, the taste of bush coffee and biscuits after an amazing sighting and the touch of the warm earth sprinkled with leopard tracks. It can’t be explained to someone accurately, only experienced to feel the true spirituality of such special places in our world. Thank you!

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