By Mike Rae.
This coming September I will have worked in Madikwe for four years, sure doesn’t feel like four years. This Reserves endless beauty and ever changing splendor has kept me gasping and itching for more. After every amazing sighting, you think that game drive couldn’t get any better …..It doesn’t just get better it blows your freaking minds backwards!!!! Just the other day we were fortunate enough to have a sighting of four of our newest pride members playing on the rocks at the base of a little koppie. The four little lion cubs came wondering curiously down the rocks and through the trees and began to rough n tumble a few paces ahead of us. Being patient and being the only vehicle at the time really paid off, the cubs curious and confident nature around the vehicle is evidence of the passionate respect shown for Madikwe’s wildlife. I hope and pray that guides and their guests continue to hold a high respect for these unique and marvelous species that makes Madikwe what it is.
I have been raised in the wilderness of southern Africa, my car seat as a baby was strapped down to the spare tire on the land rovers bonnet and I saw my first wildlife through hazy newborn eyes before even my first look at a city or a traffic light. My home has always been Africa’s’ wilderness, it is here I feel most confident, most alive, more human and truly free. This place, this park speaks to me in ways most will never comprehend, you need to listen patiently and seek answers where there are seemingly none. Madikwe speaks, not in words but in the smile on a dusty sweaty face on a hot day, or the constant buzz of thousands of Quelea settling in to roost under a fiery orange sky. Madikwe speaks in the wisdom and history shared by its people and in the echoing roars of its wild beasts through its mountains. Madikwe speaks dear reader, Africa speaks, but just how patiently are you willing to listen.
This winter, Madikwe has been screaming at me, now that I know how and what to listen for it won’t shut up! Not that I’m really complaining of course, I just feel so overwhelmed by this parks magic, the sightings and overall experiences these last few months has had me in tears and left me pulsing with exciting energy. A vast array of owl and raptor species have been active here this dry season as well as many small cats, multiple Caracal and Serval sightings have been enjoyed, even the little African wildcats have given us incredible active sightings. The action and excitement never ends here in this harsh dusty paradise. Dear reader, I urge you to spend more and more time in the wild on safari and maybe Africa will whisper a little wisdom your way.
“The bushveld is a place that grips you, subdues you, and makes you one with yourself.” Jan Smuts