Today, and maybe more so than before, there are many of us that often feel an innate desire to escape into the wild, an unexplainable longing to spend time in the vast expanse of nature. Without realising, we have become accustomed to the constant hum of electricity, the drone of traffic and the relentless alarms of phones, cars and sirens. Generally we are able to block these out to background noise, yet subconsciously, deep down we are often all too aware of these distractions in our day to day lives, when silence seems like an elusive notion far out of reach.
And yet this idyllic notion of the sound of silence chases us all at some point in our lives. The chance to take a moment to breathe, relax and reset. There may be very few places in the world where we can truly be enveloped in silence, and you may hope that the African bush is one of them, I can tell you it is not. But what it lacks in silence it makes up for in a symphony of sounds that can feel altogether foreign and yet all too familiar at the same time. It is that tune on the tip of your tongue that you cannot remember the name of but yet you somehow know the words.
These sounds of the African bush, be it the morning chorus of birds with the rising sun, the scurrying of unseen creatures in the undergrowth, the rustle of the trees as a majestic herd of elephants appears into the open, a distant call of a lion to its pride, or the crackling of an open fire at the end of the day as the night sky settles in and the stars start to shine, that reverberate into our consciousness and reminds us of our connection with nature and ourselves.
Although silence may still elude us here, it is these sounds out here in the bush that do not exhaust and drain us, but gives us a new sense of energy that can be severely lacking in our modern distractions. They give us the chance to sit back and unwind and remember that a slower pace is good for us and more often than not, more needed than we realise.
So next time you are on safari, take the opportunity that you have given yourself. Find somewhere quiet and embrace the natural sounds around you, it may not be silent, but it is a hell of a lot quieter and no doubt more peaceful than where you may be right now.
Photographs by Samuel Cox and Jonathan Hanna and Alexander Popov via Unsplash