Field Trip Friday

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In 2005 I had the amazing opportunity to travel to South Africa. We spent time in Cape Town, Johannesburg and at the Mala Mala game reserve bordering Kruger National Park. The trip was a whirlwind and I had virtually no time to sketch or jourmal ( a good reason to go back). So much to see and do. But I did manage to capture some impressions of Mala Mala that I thought I'd share. It's rainy and cold today, a perfect day for leafing through my travel journal with a hot cup of tea, dreaming of past and future travels. Read on for some arm chair travel…

Mala-mala 

April 4, 2005 – Mala Mala – 'How can I even begin to describe the experience of being in the bush? It's an overwhelmingly sensual experience. All my senses are heightened. Sight – Wide open vistas – dense bush concealing all sorts of wildlife never seen by my eyes before. The lions, brushing up against our land rover. The length of a giraffe so close – the eye of the rhino – the iridescence of the blue/black starlings – the golden glow of the lionesses at their watering hole at night against the inky darkness – the tonage of a bull elephant – the spots of a leopard – orange and black in the tall green grass. Just simply amazing. Sound – the brush as a lioness walks through it – the insects as the sun sets, a cacophony, an orchestra of sounds and pitches, chrips and "tweeps" – the deep baritone of John our tracker speaking his ancient, rich language as he signals the lion's tracks, the bark of the udu at an approaching leopard, the panting and deep, throaty growl the 2 male lions marking their territory. Smell – diesel from the Landrover, hunting down some amazing animal – the bush at sunset – sweet hay and dust – dinner after a long game drive – Taste – passion fruit – tangy and crunchy – impala, udu, cold corn soup, nut bread, a sip of cold white wine at sunset on the plains, in the bush – Touch – the feel of a hot shower washing off the dust and diesel of the bush – the feel of the pillows as my jet lagged head hit them, the tiny claws of the flap-necked chameleon climbing on my hand. My spirit filled with the wildness of Mala Mala." 

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