Proof Going on Safari is Good for Your Soul

“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa, for he has so much to look forward to.”

Ernest Hemingway

 

I have never known a quote to sum up my love of Africa so perfectly. How I wish I could wind back time and rediscover my favourite continent again. I’m not alone here, there are so many people who have withdrawals from their safari addiction and prefer to spend their lives chasing bush time. There are so many magical moments you experience on safari, it is a shame we can’t bottle them so we can revisit them as needed once we are home again and bogged down with work and other obligations.

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FORCES ME TO BE IN THE MOMENT

When in the African bushland I seem to be able to live more naturally in the present. I become immersed in whatever is or isn’t happening minute by minute. Just like mindfulness, yoga and meditation, being more in the moment delivers great benefits to our minds, bodies and souls. I come out feeling refreshed and motivated.

CUTTING OFF

Living in the moment like this means I am genuinely cut off, literally disconnected from the world (provided you don’t connect to WiFi!) and figuratively from my daily life at home. I feel free from all the normal pressures and responsibilities of work and family, it’s like forcing myself to relax. It comes so naturally though, it’s not forced at all. It just… is.

SLOWING DOWN

A typical safari day follows my natural circadian rhythm. I get up very early and have very productive mornings, and then I just want to chill out and read books or rest for a few hours in the middle of the day. I then get another burst of energy around 3-4pm, and then I’m usually in bed by 10pm. Combining this with my more mindful existence, and I function at a much slower pace when on safari. This slower pace aids well being and means I have more time for the things and people that are important to me when I do go home.

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APPRECIATING THE LITTLE THINGS

Pausing to notice small details and finding joy in simple things is something we often can’t find time for in our frenetic daily lives. This is one of the most calming and genuinely enriching experiences gained from safari.

THE JOY OF BEING OUTSIDE

It’s obvious isn’t it? When on safari, we typically spend more time outside than we would normally. In addition to the benefits of breathing in fresh air and absorbing some Vitamin D from the sunshine, our souls are fed by being much closer with our simpler more primitive needs – food, water, shelter, warmth.

ENGAGING OUR SENSES

For most of us, the safari environment is more multi-sensory than our normal lives. We engage and rely on our five senses much more so than usual, especially when walking and sleeping in the bush. This is more stimulating and calming, and enhances our well being.

FEELING MORE ALIVE

Karen Blixen is known for saying “You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.” Being in the company of big game, witnessing their behaviour and interaction with each other; there is a sense of vulnerability and adventure that makes us feel more empowered. I know that I can certainly feel my blood pumping faster, my heart beating more wildly, myself feeling more grounded. I get a flush in my cheeks, I feel warmer and more calm. Simply, I feel more alive.

 

Have you been on safari? How did you feel afterward? Where did you go and what was your favourite experience? Let me know in the comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Proof Going on Safari is Good for Your Soul

      • Michelle | michwanderlust says:

        Never – I’m intrigued but slightly concerned about safety. A friend was in Cape Town for 6 months and got mugged twice, and his house broken into a couple of times, and eventually cut short his stay for security reasons. I’d definitely love to go on safari at some point though!

        Like

      • Emma Mann says:

        Nothing has ever happened to me in Africa that couldn’t happen at home in Australia. I’d say your friend was exceptionally unlucky – Cape Town is a fairly safe city. No less so than Hong Kong or London or NYC. Like any big city, it has the same problems and areas to avoid. CT is actually one of my all time favourite places in the world!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Emma Mann says:

      I love elephants, in any form! One of my favourite experiences was just recently in Kruger National Park in South Africa, out of no where we were sitting in our jeep and completely surrounded by about 40 of them! Big gentle giants πŸ™‚

      Like

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