Most afternoons, my friend Gail and I walk along the dusty roads and perimeter fences of this heavenly place we call Marloth Park. As we walk, we debate the woes of the world, try (mostly unsuccessfully) to make sense of humanity and delight ourselves in the breath-taking beauty of our surroundings. Yesterday, we made the acquaintance of a very handsome Bush Buck. He was standing right beside us, as we passed. We stopped to chat and he eyed us with interest as he chewed his grass salad – cautious but unafraid. This afternoon, we walked along the banks of the Crocodile
Yesterday, we made the acquaintance of a very handsome Bush Buck. He was standing right beside us as we passed. So, we stopped to chat and he eyed us with interest as he chewed his grass salad – cautious but unafraid. This afternoon, we once again walked along the banks of the Crocodile River bordering Kruger Park, and decided to walk an extra section along a dust road. Our enthusiasm was rewarded when we spotted some zebras in the distance. As we reached them, we noticed 10 Giraffe with them.
As we watched in sheer wonder, these majestic creatures gracefully trimmed the tree tops and casually eyed us as they munched. Then, a gigantic male walked slowly towards me. I held his gaze as he approached and I blinked slowly in the same way I used to tell my animals that I loved them. He stopped roughly five strides away from me, faced me head-on and just watched me intently. It was an unspoken conversation – an exchange that was so special, it bordered on sacred. This was no stand-off – it was the respectful curiosity of two creatures co-inhabiting a beautiful, wild place.
After a few minutes, he gently turned away and moved towards a juicy treetop. He looked back occasionally and seemed unperturbed by our presence. Gail shared the attached photos with me, saying she was reluctant to take any in those pensive moments for fear of frightening him away. We were both blown away by the privilege of the experience.
As we continued home, we encountered a baby Ostrich and his watchful mommy, more zebras and closer to home, a big herd of Impalas with their babies.
Despite the thunder rolling out over the bush, the peace was tangible and as the layers of light eluded the approaching evening shadows, we made our way home in awe of the beauty of nature and the integrity of the majestic wild animals we have the priceless joy of sharing our home with. Humanity could learn so much from these creatures… if only we tried.