With the month of February ahead of us, one of the first things that comes to mind is Valentine’s Day… a day when love is celebrated and appreciated, as boxes of chocolates, flowers and gifts are given to your special other. But there is another love that lives in the hearts of us all, and it awakens when you are out in the bush – writes ranger David den Hartog.
It is hard to describe, but you feel the tug at your heartstrings as you gaze out on the vast landscape, with its far-off horizon. Once you allow a piece of the bushveld into your heart, it’s the start of a life-long love affair, and every person who has experienced this can speak of that moment when everything else just falls away. When nature, in all its beauty and mystery, takes a firm hold over you, and you feel truly alive.
Connecting with nature can be as simple as going for a walk in a park or enjoying an al fresco lunch with loved ones. You could even start smaller than that, like standing barefoot on a patch of grass and closing your eyes as you feel the grass between your toes… or if you are more adventurous, try it in mud. If the elephants love it, we can too! But for the full connection, a Sabi Sabi safari in the African Bushveld is the ultimate choice.
Awakening the Senses
The first thing that will get your heart pumping is the sight of the bush itself, where each season brings with it special experiences – from the summer splendour, surrounded in lush green trees and grasses, and the shocking pinks and blues of wildflowers, to the calming effect of winter, where the crispness of the air entices you to brave the chilly mornings.
We are also privileged to get a glimpse of the many animals that share their environment with us… A large elephant bull walking past the vehicle commands silence and respect, whilst every creature from a dwarf mongoose to a dominant male leopard patrolling his territory evokes varying emotions.
It doesn’t stop there, as we inhale the scent of the bush. The crisp, clear air brings both pleasant and sometimes not so pleasant smells, both of which will put a smile on almost any face. Whether it’s the pleasant fragrance of the wild aniseed or the stench of a pack of wild dogs, the scents of the bush will truly awaken your sense of smell, so don’t be afraid to close your eyes and just breathe it all in.
While on a safari, try to isolate each scent, and suddenly you will realise how much you’ve been missing. You might catch yourself stopping to smell a flower or breathing in the sweet fragrance of the African bush.
Take the Time to Listen
Even with all the wonderful sights and smells, there’s one more thing that you will notice – something that is muffled by all the white noise of the city as we go about our daily lives, and those complex devices that are all too often attached to the sides of our heads. In the bush, the sounds that resonate over the grasses, through the leaves and from the sky above us are simply majestic!
There is no comparison to being on a safari vehicle, with the open air surrounding you, and hearing the power of a lion’s roar, or the excitement in the warning call of a Vervet monkey. From the ominous whooping of a Spotted hyena in the dark of the night, to the stunning vibrato from a Fiery-necked Nightjar, this is nature’s music, and every call you hear is unique – no two are the same, and even when calls are mimicked, there is still a difference.
Listening to the natural world will awaken all your senses, and instil a sense of belonging and wonder in your heart. And that’s because Mother Nature exists in every crack and crevice of our being. So, in this month of love, why not rediscover and explore our bushveld environment where Mother Nature is sure to capture your heart and soul.
We invite you to re-connect with nature and immerse yourself into Mother Nature’s language with our Pay 3 / Stay 4 offer – also available through your preferred African Specialist.