A perfect spot to experience Africa’s extreme beauty & perfect harmony is the Selous Game Reserve in East Africa.
I am writing from the decking of the rather luxurious ‘tent’ I am staying in at the Selous River Side Camp. My sun lounger overlooks the river & is surrounded by dense, lush green tropical vegetation. It is a very beautiful & extremely relaxing place to be.
I am revitalised & rejuvenated following a refreshing dip in the ‘infinity’ plunge pool beside me which also overlooks the river.
The scene is set for some creative writing; with one more addition, a concert of bush music to serenade me with insects buzzing, whistling and humming and frogs joining the chorus! I find myself smiling with the sheer pleasure of being in this magical place.
A rustling from the mimosa branches above reveals an observer! An inquisitive monkey peers down at me from his branch fascinated by the keypad tapping.
Half a dozen or so family members observe from a distance, one with a tiny infant clinging to the mother’s middle. I am in the heart of Africa!
A millipede, the size of a sausage, hurries across the lapping tiled edge of the water, down the pool wall and off down the track. As I pursued the millipede with my camera an almighty rustling in the scrub beside me made me jump out of my skin, revealing a giant lizard which with terror darted off to the river bank when it spotted my moving silhouette.
This is a wonderful spot to reflect on our game viewing today in the Selous Game Reserve.
The Selous is Africa’s largest game reserve. It is a wilderness area three times larger than the Serengeti. It has been designated a World Hertiage Site by the UN due to its unique ecosystem. Our game drive had been a remarkable day of extreme beauty & perfect harmony all from the comfort of our safari jeep with a cool box full of ice cold drinks!
The Reserve is half an hour’s drive from the Selous River Side Camp. The route to the Reserve runs straight through the middle of local village.
The drive offers a fascinating insight into the very traditional way people live – a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for generations.
Not a metaled road in sight for hundreds of miles; livestock amble free range, picturesque wattle & daub clad thatched mud huts.
The women carry heavy looking loads on their heads, some sitting in the front of their homes busy with their daily chores, men gathered chatting and some sleeping. Children playing with sticks, chickens scratching in the dust, ducks settled under the shade of a tree. A fascinating bird’s eye view from the safari jeep.
Almost too soon we arrive at the park gates for some quick ‘admin’ before the gates are opened and we are ushered through to 50,000 sq km of wild, remote Africa with barely a human in sight!
The park supports enormous numbers of wild animals including buffalo, elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, lion and the endangered African Wild Dog & Black Rhino.
The Reserve consists of woodland, dense impenetrable thickets, short grassy plains and seasonally flooded pans & lakes.
The lakes are surrounded by an array of lush vegetation, indigenous Borassus Palms, ancient baobab trees.
We enjoyed lunch under the shade of a glade of trees while watching the hippos thrashing in the lake, crocodiles cruising & Egyptian Geese carefully picking around its shores
The Rufiji River provides spectacular scenery and an important ecosystem with sandbanks, lagoons and channels providing a sanctuary for the abundant and varied bird life such as the Fish Eagles.
Back at camp a luxuriously refreshing plunge in our private pools awaited followed by a warm shower, sundowners on the terrace and candlelit dinner in the main lodge area with the fire pit glowing cheerfully. Some safari reminiscing and star gazing ended a perfect day. I slept like a baby!
Another beautiful experience during my stay was a sunset boat safari along the tributary beside the camp for some wonderful sights of crocodiles, hippos & bird-life including the weaver bird busily attending to nest maintenance. A mesmerising spectacle of fluttering yellow feathers diving in and out of the river bank reeds.
A beautiful experience from start to finish and one I can’t wait to repeat!
‘Beauty is defined to be a harmony of all parts, in whatsoever subject it appears, fitted together with such proportion and connection, that nothing could be added, diminished or altered’ Alberti
Masood Kheraluwala writes that this quote aptly applies to one such destination on our planet and that is the great Tanzania – Masood writes that a painter would find inspiration for his brush; a poet for his pen; a carver for his chisel; a designer for his style; a photographer for his lenses; and the list would go on … No matter, what you are or where you come from, the moment you step onto this soil, you become at one with nature. The heart starts singing, the feet tapping, the hands waving and a glow settles on the face whilst the eyes sparkle in awe of the bounties of nature, be it flora or fauna. I couldn’t say it better myself!