Game spotting – ways in the wild


One has a general idea of what it means to visit a game reserve. You get up early. Shortly before dawn. On one of the open Safari vehicles you need to dress warmly or you freeze your butt off even with lots of blankets provided. The driver/ranger is a trained and knowledgeable person, spotting game and pointing out the smaller things on the road to give you some context of where you are.
And where are you?

Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris). Kruger National Park.

You are “in the wild”. Really? You are in an area which looks as if it was “the wild”. It is an area set aside for conserving what we believe to have been the wild – once upon a time.

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana). Kruger National Park.

Dream-time …
Your presence here makes “the wild” un-wild. It tries to hide from you, but cannot. You are the great spotter of spotty things.

Red-billed Francolin (Francolinus adspersus) or Red-billed Spurfowl. Kruger National Park.

On the ground or aloft.

Giant Eagle Owl (Bubo lacteus). Kruger National Park.

Time to roost while others spot.

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). Kruger National Park.

Who is the tallest of us all?

Red-crested Bustard or red-crested Korhaan (Eupodotis ruficrista). Kruger National Park.

And who the speediest of the lot.

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Kruger National Park.

End of dream-time.

Nyala, female (Tragelaphus angasii). Kruger National Park.

Our way of seeing calls this a “harem” in the wild.

A harem of Impala (Aepyceros melampis). Kruger National Park.

Downtime. – Submerged they graze – ill-tempered guardians of the subliminal.

Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius). Kruger National Park.

African buffalo (Syncerus caffer). Kruger National Park.

The keepers of all our memories of the wild. Without them we would be orphaned in this world.

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

A game drive converts your awareness of where and who you are.
We are the lost children of a world once wild. And all our memories, faint as they are, become true and real again in observing animals in the wild, their expressions of integrity. They are what they are and we are not any longer. We were driven out of paradise once and for all and have every intention to make this world a hellish place to be in. A drive in a game park can be a truly revealing and healing process. Looking in from the outside. Seeing us from where we have come and cannot return.

Kruger National Park.

On guard.

Giant kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima). Kruger National Park.

With love from
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay, Sunday 3 July 2011


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