“There is language going on out there – the language of the wild. Roars, snorts, trumpets, squeals, whoops, and chirps all have meaning derived over eons of expression… We have yet to become fluent in the language -and music- of the wild.”
Boyd Norton, Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning
Lying in a canvas tent, listening to the chirping of the crickets, I heard the distant roar of a lion. The sounds of the Serengeti go to higher levels after the sun has set. As you lie within your little canvas island, you can hear the hyenas roaming around the campsite – their distinctive call echoing across the Savannah. The sounds grow louder as animals call across the plains to each other in a wild chorus….and suddenly you feel so very small in this untamed land.
The Serengeti is one of my favourite places in the world. It’s a place I feel I would return to time and time again and never grow weary. Nothing compares to that first glimpse of the vast and ever changing landscape as you come over the hill: silhouettes of the umbrella-shaped acacia trees; the huge, imposing rock formations that have been there for thousands of years; the grassy Savannah that seems to stretch out far past the horizon.
The huge, bright blue African sky, the greens and browns of the trees and grass, the red soil on the road, the greys of the rocks, the stunning reds, purples, yellows of the sunrise and the sunset – the colours of the Serengeti stay vivid in your mind’s eye long after you have left.
“Why is it you can never hope to describe the emotion Africa creates? You are lifted. Out of whatever pit, unbound from whatever tie, released from whatever fear. You are lifted and you see it all from above.” -Francesca Marciano
There is something almost liberating about spending time in this stunning part of the world. You feel like you are witnessing the most unspoiled and wild beauty of this planet and the sheer complexity of an ecosystem that has been in existence for thousands of years. Watching the awkward grace of a giraffe as she bends her neck to drink from a stream, or the majesty of a herd of elephants as they make their way across the plains, or the protective instincts of a lioness with her three tiny cubs, or the lazy slope of a leopard as it sleeps in a far off tree – the beautiful rhythm of life in this wild kingdom brings peace to your soul and takes you back to where it all began.
“To witness that calm rhythm of life revives our worn souls and recaptures a feeling of belonging to the natural world. No one can return from the Serengeti unchanged, for tawny lions will forever prowl our memory and great herds throng our imagination.” – George Schaller