If you practice yoga, you will have heard instruction to keep yourself grounded in any of the poses that you go into. But even if you don’t practice yoga, you will have heard the expression to keep your feet on the ground as a way to say that you need to be in touch with who you are, where you are and what you are intending to do. Little Makalolo in Hwange, Zimbabwe has five classic safari tents on the ground. One of the five tents is a family room which takes an additional two in twin beds in a second room adjoined to the main bedroom.
Little Makalolo is an uncomplicated experience. The main area is very comfortable. There is a lounge and bar to the right as you walk in; and to the left is the dining room. In front is the fire pit and to the right of that is the swimming pool. In front of the main area is the most glorious outlook over Little Makalolo Pan. Because of the time of the year, this pan is active just about all day long. Elephant stream in from all over in small breeding herds of between 10 and 20 at a time to come and quench their thirst. They usually don’t stay that long because they have to move great distances now to find browsing in between visits to water holes.
I find it so hard to see the baby elephants and the young elephants following their mothers and the matriarchs. Some of the babies are so little they easily fit under their mother’s stomachs which means that they are under a year old. I worry about whether the mother has enough food and water and rest to be able to lactate to sustain her baby. The harsh truth is that she probably doesn’t.
I know that, despite the fact that the elephants’ hip bones are starting to show as an indication of the dry season stresses, I keep myself grounded in the knowledge that this time will pass. The rains will come. Most will survive, and some will not. I watch these elegant silent giants pad with languid steps until they smell and see the water; then they can’t help themselves. Despite the tiredness and the sore bodies from covering such large distances, they run and they trumpet with delight for a drink of water.
As an experience to get in touch with Africa, Little Makalolo offers just that. The camp gives you comfort that you need and the area gives you the entertainment that wild Africa offers. At this time of the year, game is aplenty in large herds. Despite the fact that it is the dry season, you have your feet on the ground and can reach for the stars!