World Magazine : WORLD - Summer 2018
H ow does that Toto song about Africa go? Gonna take time to do the things we never have. For many of us, attending an All Blacks test in South Africa, followed by a safari, is one of those bucket-list things. You may have to wait awhile for the next ABs-Springboks test at Ellis Park, but it will surely be worth it. And after the All Blacks win (again), fly to the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, part of a 60,000-hectare reserve sharing the same habitat with Kruger National Park. Britain’s Daily Telegraph has described Sabi Sabi as “indisputably one of Africa’s best safari destinations”. Here, the Big Five – lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard – roam freely through a vast and ancient land still so diverse even native trackers never know what to expect from one moment to the next. Speedy cheetahs, mindless wildebeest, gentle giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, zebras, lazy baboons, playful monkeys and hungry hyenas – as well as 5 per cent of the world’s bird population – are found here. Binoculars and a guide book will help you identify them all. What’s the difference between a black and white rhino? You’ll know flamingos when you see them, but what about African hoopoes? Altogether, Sabi Sabi Reserve has more than 300 species of birds, 47 species of mammals, 57 species of reptiles and, for gardeners and botanists, about 90 unique species of trees, shrubs and grasses. The only catch is you must be here on the ground, not at home in front of the TV, to truly appreciate them. Who hasn’t watched an African wildlife show on television featuring herds of elephants or prides of lions and thought: “Just another African wildlife show, so what?” Yet, being here is like the difference between watching a rugby test on television and watching one live. Television captures the imagery but not the sensation. Here, suited up in the khaki chic you bought for the journey, you’re on a game drive and after your ranger swings his vehicle around a cluster of jackal berry, there, staring you down, is a non-nonsense bull elephant. You’ll see it but more than that, you’ll feel it. Feel its size and power. You might fumble the camera you’re so excited. If the big guy flaps his ears back and lowers his head, chances are your driver will throw the vehicle into reverse. But if not, the experience will still take your breath away and all the elephants you’ve seen on television are rendered irrelevant. This is the one you’ll remember forever. Maybe it’s because Africa is the birthplace of Man. Whatever, being here, witnessing first-hand the continent’s indigenous wildlife roaming, resting, hunting, eating, swimming, climbing, interacting with the remarkable landscape in a symbiotic way, touches the human soul in a way no other holiday can.
WORLD - Spring 2017
WORLD - Autumn 2018