When we go out to find the “big five”, does it matter if we stop to look at the smaller things? The sound of a Jackal calling in the evening and what it means? Looking at a track and following it to find the animal that made it. The smell of wild mint or the taste of a traditional tea made from the fruit of a River bush willow as the sun rises to thaw the frost. Taking the time to explain the dew drop spider, and how it survives or just waiting in silence for the predator to make its move.
Who do you root for? The Lioness or the Wildebeest… fingers pointing and questions flowing. It is these times that I wonder if the time spent looking for the last one of the big five was worth it, or should we have just stopped and explained a little more about the Termite and the heat generated through the vent tubes during the cooler months, the relationship between a wasp and a caterpillar, or the horizontal colouration of an Impala. It depends on what you want to take away from a safari experience. It is up to us to decipher the ebb and flow of the wilderness we are exposed to.
Africa is in our blood – it is the small things that allow the bigger things to take place. It is the timing and the expectation of anything. It is waiting and hoping, reading and interpreting. Every time we head out into the reserve with guests, the experience is different. Yet equally as important in sustaining the environment we work in.
It will happen the way it is meant to, the thud of a continuous cycle. One we explain as it passes us by.