The Land Rover bounced as it plowed through the thick brush and thorn bushes making its way further off the dirt track. My guide, Shaun, sat to my right in the driver’s seat, simultaneously shifting gears, quietly giving our position on the radio and steering over small trees.
He looked over at me and smiled and raised his arm to signal to those in the higher seats behind me to duck as a large thorn branch got in our way. We’d been at this for an hour. The only words we had heard were the hushed voices on the radio. All around us birds and impala let out distress calls.
Our tracker, Jerry had left his perch seat on the front of the Land Rover and joined the others in the back just before we left the dirt track. A much safer spot. We were in hot pursuit of our game. Armed with only cameras and hot water bottles under our blankets we drove on in the early morning hours.
We were on a silent Game Drive. Part of a group of brave souls that had traveled the long distance to South Africa to discover ourselves. To lay bare our weaknesses, fears and doubts about ourselves. We spent our time at camp in group discussions with three famous Life Coaches. Learning and listening and challenging ourselves. Our twice-daily Game Drives took us deep into the bushveld to be one with nature and learn to understand what the “real world” really is.
And here we were in the real world. Our goal reached. We all sat silently as we took in the scene before us. A pride of lions. Five gorgeous lionesses taking in the morning sun. Ten fuzzy cubs yawning and stretching after a breakfast of impala. One cub possessively holding onto a leg that his siblings were not going to take from him. None of them seemed to care that there were silent observers watching them from inside a big tin can. Our being silent and at peace put the pride at ease.
This is the thing about being silent and being still. All of your other senses come alive. You can actually hear. You hear the sounds of nature all around you. You can hear your own breath and heartbeat. You can smell the fresh air and feel the sun on your skin. You can taste and savour the feeling of pure and simple joy at seeing a pride of lions in the sun….