Safari “hangover”: returning from an African Eden
We are back from another amazing edition of the “Drawing the Big Cats Safari” to Botswana. In fact we have been back for more than a week, and yet the process of adapting once more to everyday life feels a bit like a diver’s decompression.
The safari experience has something primeval about it, as if we were returning to the natural state of humankind in its childhood. For days on end our senses are continously soaked with the sights, sounds and smells of nature, and our brain is suddenly doing what it was designed to do -in fact it feels happy and at home, like a puppy allowed to run in the park, or like a dolphin splashing in the waves. Each night you collapse in your tent’s bed with your mind full of images to process, and yet utterly at peace.
Such a routine is in stark contrast with our daily life back in the “civilization”, and we have to come to terms with the implications, because a trip of this sort is much more than a vacation. We have fed our mind with the kind of high-quality food that will keep our creativity fuelled for months and years to come. But we know we are transiting between contrasting worlds. Each time I experience the pristine wilderness of Africa I am reminded that countries like Botswana are preserving such natural treasures at a cost. A lot of effort and sacrifice are neccesary if our shared heritage has to endure, and ecotourism is one way we can all contribute to make it sustainable in the long term. I never tire of repeating it, a safari to the African wilderness is an experience that will improve your life. Stop just dreaming about it and start planning for it. You will not repent -and you will return!
This majestic lion from Savuti pauses for a moment in front of the marsh. In the background are the hills where we first met this impressive individual a year ago. Not the only feline re-encounter we had!