"Such moments encapsulate the feelings of exhilaration… of being one with nature."
I awake to a new sound. Lying on a single mattress in a Meru tent in Khwai Reserve, darkness surrounds me. It is all quiet, except for the unfamiliar noise. A rhythmic noise that sounds like a half snore and a half sniff. it is too loud and too echoey-like to have come from one of my fellow travellers who are still sleeping in their tents which are only about 10 feet away from mine. The noise came in regular beats. As I listen to it, I start to smile. I know what it is.
It must be from an elephant. A jumbo pachyderm – fast asleep at a tree just behind my ensuite open-top washroom. It’s time to wake up for the day. I creep into the washroom, the snores become even louder. I try to keep the noise down – brushing my teeth, washing my face and using the loo in the minimal of lights. The jumbo still sleeps.
It is moments like this that defines what being on safari is about. Such moments encapsulate the feelings of exhilaration, of sharing space with wildlife in their natural home, of me being home, of being one with nature.
And it is possible – with agents like Chalo Africa and one of its founders Sangeeta who scour the unexplored locations and hire the best teams to arrange experiences like these. The Khwai reserve capped our trip to the central Kalahari desert and the Makgadikgadi pans in February this year – less visited areas but remote and beautiful in their rawness. Where I know I will find tranquility and peace at heart.