They say once you have Africa in your blood it never leaves you. I can well believe that after my recent experiences.
Born and raised here I have still sadly seen little of this beautiful country of mine. I have never really felt the urge to travel and I can't claim to have been bowled over by nature before this.
I'm lucky to live in a spot which puts me within a couple of hours of some of the best game parks in our country. Less than 30 minutes from home is Tala Nature Reserve where I went to today. Home to only one of the Big Five but still more than worth the visit.
My love affair with the wild started last year when I was fortunate enough to experience 2 events which were out of the ordinary - the first being the planned capture of a Black Rhino and the second a weekend spent hiking in the wilderness.
Both experiences changed my view on wildlife. The 'stiletto chick' is now quite happy to put the heels to one side and rather pull on a pair of hiking shoes and head out in the bush. While I'm not sure I'll ever have the opportunity to be present at another Rhino capture, I certainly do intend to make the Wilderness Trail an annual event for myself. A time to rejuvenate and reflect on where I am in my life. And where better to do it but in a place which is timeless in its beauty and peace. I learnt a lot about myself out there. Most of all that I can face challenges and overcome obstacles I never thought possible before.
There is a lot more of Africa I want to see, both here in South Africa and further afield on this beautiful continent. While there are huge social issues to be overcome by the people there is also at the same time immense natural beauty which we are so lucky to have on our doorsteps.
I felt so blessed to be out in nature today. Just watching the animals, soaking up the sights and sounds .... Africa at her best.