You ask me if I remember Africa?
I don’t just remember it – I relive it every day.
When I close my eyes I can smell the herbs that turn the Bushveld into a fragrant bouquet. I can hear the thunder of hoofs, the roar of a lion, the laughs of children.
I hear the call of the fish eagle, the call of the wild.
I dream of the spectacular sunsets only Africa can offer, the sky turning from bright orange to pink to deep red in a promise of another day to come. Another day filled with wildlife and beauty, filled with the energy that is Africa. The energy that gets released at Victoria Falls, where I have stood many times in awe as I gazed at the waters thundering down.
I remember lands cloaked in a lush mantle of green by recent rains. There were herds of elephants as well as oryx, gerenuk, dik-dik and other animals with exotic names.
I recollect savannas stretching out as far as the eye can see, thousands of animals wandering around this proverbial Eden.
I remember late afternoon game drives highlighted by the soft striking light of a setting sun. Game was abundant: Cape buffalo, rhinos and impalas grazing the lush grass. Just before nightfall a leopard appeared by the side of our vehicle, walked along with us, then vanished into the bush like a ghost-like apparition.
I recall seeing three cheetahs on the hunt, silently prowling through the tall yellow grass.
I recollect the Okavango Delta, Botswana’s haven of tranquility. Where the waters of the delta submerge a large swath of desert. I floated around it in a dug-out canoe. I gained an appreciation for all the small things Africa has to offer: a small frog clinging to a reed, a kingfisher diving into the water, an antelope trying to hide from view. My soul felt renewed.
I reminisce about the nights I was woken by lions on the hunt, by hyenas cackling and by elephants foraging. In my mind’s eye I still see that ostrich running through a reed-filled lagoon. In my dreams I hear troops of baboons greeting the rising sun.
When I think back on my Africa travel adventures, I remember hundreds of pelicans flying overhead in a graceful show of serenity – I just stood there and gazed at the spectacle of wings between flying and gliding, the birds spread out in giant V-formations, rising and falling in the early-morning air.
This is how the world was meant to be.
This is how I remember Africa.