Western Cape | South Africa

A Wild African Tale
 

"There is a feeling stirred by staring deep in the eyes of an untamed 'beast'. Unbowed, he lives free, Glorious!"

In the mid to late 90s, whilst growing up, I read many comics. Those filled with African tales got my mind racing. On a rainy December morning in 2016, as I set foot on a plane bound for Cape Town, I knew; a childhood dream was to come reality. In the Western Cape of South Africa, I witnessed more than I could imagine as a child. 

We set off on our evening drive with the iconic Lion King shot dancing in my mind; ball of fire low in the horizon, majestic umbrella thorn acacia and giraffes playing shadow games in the savanna. In an open jeep, dirt kicking up, a burning hot fading sun, borrowed binoculars in hand, a pulse racing a little faster than usual, the scent of dry grass after a long summer day enveloping us and a profound sense of respect for our surroundings; my African dream starts.

My wild African tale is made of moments such as walking up a stony hill in dead silence, tip toeing meters from a cheetah feasting under a bush.

Witnessing two of Mother Earth’s giants facing off. In the two young lion brothers' eyes you could see a sparkle of excitement as they looked at each other and decided to scare themselves with challenging a huge rhino to a stand off.

Kicking up dust, the rhino stood its ground, ready to charge.

A tale of a herd of zebra in rebellion. The loud kicking noise resonating in our ears. Long white teeth seeking to bite into each others necks, to establish dominance. 

One morning, the distant roar of the king of the Savanna vibrating through the atmosphere reached a bathing hippopotamus’s ear; as comfortable as he seemed, quickly, he gathered his thoughts and headed for the cover of the distant bush.

Hearing branches being torn off, chewed and then witnessing a great herd of elephants rise from the dry river bed in total silence, I will forever rest the senseless French expression ‘marcher comme un éléphant’.

Majestic giraffes, rhinos built like Swedish Volvos and marching buffalos close off my wild African tale.

Here and then, in the great wilderness, more than alive, I felt connected, grounded, joyful. A feeling of belonging totally to and with Mother Earth.

 

Looking into the eyes of an untamed animal in his own space, inspired me to explore, to live a life at my own pace, not dictated by expectations and the desires of others.

 

They inspire me to be...Untamed!

Images provided by Jeremy Perret. All rights reserved.