March 11, 2010

Day Three in Singita

On day three of our stay at Singita Game Reserves, we woke up to a glorious morning.  The sky was bright blue, the clouds were white and puffy, and the savannah was a grassy green.  The plan for that day was to board a small plane and fly to Boulders, another lodge in Kruger National Park, also owned by Singita.  It was a rather short flight, just sixty miles from Lebombo, but it was fascinating flying over this vast preserve.  One of the reasons we went to Boulders was to visit an authentic African village, called Justacia Village, about a forty-minute drive by jeep from the lodge.  It was intriguing to discover how self contained and efficient this small village is, and how welcome we were made to feel.  The village is populated with Shangaan people, who came originally from the neighboring country of Mozambique and it was truly great spending time with them.

I also wanted to share this entry in the Singita Journal with you, written by our guide, Marlon Du Toit.  It may shed some light on his passion and the life he lives in South Africa:

I often get asked if I get tired of doing this. You drive the same roads everyday. You see the “same” animals everyday. That may be true, but let’s consider the following. Let’s look at the word passion. It refers to an intense or overpowering emotion towards something or someone. It is the object of someone’s intense interest or enthusiasm. I could be stuck in traffic in the urban jungle. I could be behind a desk filing though a stack of paper work heaped up in the corner. Yes, someone has to do that, but not me. Instead my skin is touched by a golden African sun as I search for that elusive male lion. Up ahead I notice a cloud of red dust lifting up from the earth as a herd of buffalo stampede. Could this be it? I pick up the pace and as I gain sight of the herd I notice a tawny figure amongst flailing hooves. It is him, the king, running them down searching for weakness. You can’t but help but be swept up by the drama that is Africa. She has a way about her that is both charming and deadly. It is intoxicating.This to me is home. This is my way of life. This is my passion.