As a travel consultant I come across a phrase all too often; “I’m not the kind of person who can sit and do nothing.”
It is true that doing nothing can make us a little loopy, yet somehow, in order to achieve pure rejuvenation, the mind and body need to do precisely that. Nothing. Safari holidays follow the patterns of the bush and regardless of your lodge of choice work to a similar flow.
Mornings begin with a sunrise coffee and a crisp game drive. These drives in the wee hours of dawn activate your natural sleep pattern whilst boosting your body with pure, sunlit vitamin D.
The freshness of the day, during the golden hour, fills you with internal energy, whilst your friendly hosts serve muffins and tea and look for animals.
It is not only safari guests that enjoy this time. Each animal, in its own unique way, is celebrating the triumph of a new day. Hunters, filled with the nights kill, rest and relax under the coolness of the trees and the success of finding a meal. Herd animals, having survived the nights hunt, feed peacefully, gathering their strength, tending to their young, seeking comfort in the social interactions of their tight-knit familes.
As late morning sets in and the animals retreat under the heat of the day, safari guests are returned to camp to enjoy a delicious brunch.
Afternoons are spent lulling around the banks of the swimming pool, snoozing in the shade, reading a book, going on a bush walk or simply relaxing in a deck chair to watch the game as it goes about its business and comes down to the waterhole to drink.
With the sun laying low in the sky, guests are once more taken out, wind in their hair, eyes peeled for the sighting of a lifetime. Evening drives carry all of the tensions of the wild. Every ear is alert, every eye sharp as a pinprick. The energy is electric.
It is here that you may be lucky enough to see a pride of lions on the prowl, or a leopard or a kill.
Arriving back to camp after dark provides a rare opportunity to see the nocturnal animals such as bushbabys, snakes, hyena and owls.
By the light of the fire and the sounds of the bush, dinner is served with a side of shared stories, warm hearts and excited chatter about the days events. In pure darkness, far away from the city lights and the sounds of its people going about their business, an early night and a deep sleep is a welcome end to the day.
Safari holidays, in the true sense of the word, involve doing nothing. There is no concentration required. None at all.
It is the most relaxing kind of holiday imaginable. No technology, no chores, no strenuous activities, no driving, no need for effort of any kind whatsoever.
Why then does all this doing nothingness not lead to one going a little mad?
The answer is simple. A safari is the perfect mix of deep sleep, early morning sunshine, lazy pool days, extreme excitement and a connection to nature that can so easily be found in Africa. Game drives bring optimism for the big five you most hope to see, and every brush with the wild is a sense of achievement.
The world is filled with positive energy, excitement and beauty. Every day is different, every day a perfect routine, every day a new start and every day, a memory.
Sit back, relax and soak it all in.
*Original blog post published for Robert Mark Safaris