"It (East Africa) is indeed an ancient and mysterious land which has a profound effect on all but the most cynical. The visitors whom I have the privilege to introduce to the world of safari, in most cases, come from an affluent environment, perhaps having achieved their success by clawing and scratching their way up through the often sordid, so-called civilised world. They arrive worried about the state of affairs in their absence, bravely determined to enjoy the safari which they have mentally equated perhaps to China last year or Europe the year before-- one more place to be ticked off on their check list of 'recommended vacations.' Within days they are spellbound. At first it is the sheer
profusion of animals but then, as time passes, I watch their faces and listen to their conversation and know that they have been hooked. This is no mere vacation, this is a deep experience for the soul. Nobody has described the unsettling effect of African hypnosis more lucidly than the American adventurer, Negley Farson, who was strangely overwhelmed when he first witnessed bushmen dance their imitative Dance of the Kudu, in the Kalahari: 'You were taken back until something unknown moved inside your soul; you were plagued by the feeling that stirred uneasily in your flesh and bones. Had you, on the long road to the You of today, ever danced like that?' This is not fantasy. It is an awareness as real for me, in Kenya, as it was for him in the Kalahari. I too have sensations of deja vu, especially when I am alone on the sweeping plains of the Serengeti, or down in Olduvai Gorge, where Early Man once lived. It is as if this is not my first experience of Africa: that I have known these places somewhere in the past. It is like coming home."
Simon Combes, AN AFRICAN EXPERIENCE
Photos by Pedro Ferreira do Amaral - taken in northern Tanzania.
thanks to "Old Bwana" Richard G Beyer for sharing his collection of quotes with us.