Nowhere else on Earth do I feel this freedom, this peace of mind and such happiness. There is an immense space in this special land, a permanent feeling of isolation in the middle of rough wilderness that doesn't make me feel lost or lonely. So I try to go back every year and every year I trust Wilderness Safaris to plan my journey – with them I have had the best safaris of my life. The minute I arrive I become whole-hearted, I am only emotion, I enter what I call my "Heart-Mode". This is the diary of another one of my journeys on safari, in Botswana, last November.
When you go on safari there is one thing you must know: you will fly in tiny little planes. They are as light as air (I mean it seems like it). When you first arrive at your safari country you might take off from a concrete airstrip at the airport. But where you are headed to, there are no signs of civilisation. You will land in the middle of the African bush. Airstrips are sand, surrounded by vegetation and wild animals...
There are things in life I wish everyone could do. Floating above this unique place in Africa, where green and water melt into each other so beautifully, is one of them. You never quite forget your first flight above the Okavango Delta. You are flying over a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most spectacular Natural Wonder of Africa.
Early morning, before the safari there is a moment where I stop and marvel at my lodge details. Like silver chandeliers leading down the path to Jacana’s jetty... It's comfortable and bush-luxurious everywhere here. But then, it always is. Lucky us this time around: we had this lodge all to ourselves.
I think people who like safaris like the unexpected. People who like safaris like the surprise. The search. We don't mind being lost and we don't care if we don't know where we are heading to. We, safari lovers, we love the absolute lack of routine, the freedom, the space, the movement, the wild nature, the silence.
Before going out on our sunset safari on the mokoro we were surprised by some of Jacana Camp's gifted staff members and their local crafts. All done with the Okavango Delta natural resources... All evoking the colours around us. We couldn't resist it. Too beautiful to avoid.
In the dry season the sun’s rays light up the burning African soil and turn to gold the millions of particles of dust floating in the dry air...
TH was our guide while at Jacana. I have often been on safari and can positively say that the ONE thing that can transform your journey in the wilderness is your guide. TH has the knowledge, the passion, the curiosity and the emotional intelligence to understand his guests and their expectations... He was the highlight of our stay here. His calm made us feel safe all the time but his guiding made us want to spend a lifetime with him in the bush. There is only so much one can learn in a few days on safari but we left enlightened by all he taught us.
Sniffing the air. Starting to get up. Smell life close by. Smell meat, smell a kill opportunity. This is the sniffing of hunger, of needing to eat soon and fast. This is the moment the leaders of the pack stand up and say to the others: "Let's go, time for a meal."
A couple of days before I took this picture this lion, along with three other females and another male, brought down an old buffalo. In the process he was kicked in the mouth... They managed to kill it but this guy was left with some scars on his now inflated lower lip. Yet, these face-offs are still grandiose and still charismatic.
Continue reading Marta's journal: http://vsco.co/martolas/journal/heart-mode
Written and Photographed by:
By Marta Mota, Wilderness Safaris blog contributor. Follow Marta on her Instagram for more striking images from the wilderness: @LovingJune