Sacred Combe Safari IV
Day 4, part 2
It’s about this stage of the trip that our guests start to realise that one of the finest things this kind of safari offers was not mentioned in the brochure. It couldn’t be. It’s not only impossible to describe, it’s different for every single person.
Time. Time as we never experience in our busy lives at home. Wild time. Time that moves to the ticking of the ecosystem all around you, rather than that thing on your wrist. Every day between lunch and tea (with Compulsory Cake) there is a beautiful valley of real time. Time that can be savoured as you savour a good whisky or fine champagne.
A doze, a shower, a read, a sit, a look, a listen. Staring at the Mwaleshi River that flows across the North Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Thinking great thoughts. Or perhaps better, thinking no thoughts at all. Sometimes large mammals go past, and then again, sometimes they don’t.
And for once in your life, you are free and in tune with everything around you: and it is the most dizzying sensation. Birds call: put a name to them if you like: tropical boubou, orange-breasted bush-shrike, long-tailed glossy starlings. Or not.
A book to read, or not. I like Japanese poetry in the bush: the world’s best nature poetry puts me in the right state of mind for looking, listening, thinking, not thinking.
Trying to read haiku
three antlered kudu
put me off
Time races. Times slows, time stops. Three elephants, dozing in the shade.
If he stilled his ears
would be invisible
I wonder what sort of cake we’ve got today.