'The Southern Cross was hanging above the horizon which was tinged in the first a barely noticeable signs of dawn and a breeze was easing the winter dry season chill, but beyond all this was silence. Then a Lion roared in the distance! It was a defining moment.
'I lay in my sleeping bag for a few minutes enjoying the overwhelming sense of waking under the stars of the African wilderness before getting up to stoke the fire and put the kettle on for the morning tea and coffee. Brushing the ash from last night's fire revealed a pile of hot coals that burst into flame as soon as I put new kindling on'.
The camp fire is an integral part of a mobile camping safari, a central area where discussions can be had, or a place where one can sit alone in personal contemplation. Guests are woken early amid varying degrees of excitement and complaining but as soon as they reach the camp fire in the early morning all seems to be at peace.
The morning drive depends on the movement of wildlife, and whether the guide has heard anything during the night. The first part of the drive may involve some tracking to find predators and some time listening to the sounds of the wilderness. Many guides track predators from the sounds of other animals' alarm calls.
A mobile safari allows the freedom to spend as much time out on activity as is necessary as there is no need to rush back to camp. Returning to camp for a brunch of cereals, eggs, bacon, sausage and a mish mash of other breakfast foods after an exciting morning adds to the experience of a Mobile Safari in Botswana.
The midday break in camp is also an important part of the experience of the mobile safari. Relaxing in the shade, with the wilderness moving by, it is easy to be lulled into a sense of security despite been in the middle of a wildlife area. The sense of security stems from the break from the insecurities of life in the rat race.
The senses are enhanced on a mobile safari, be it the sense of taste, scent or sight. Away from the luxury of having your needs available at beck and call everything on a mobile safari heightens the senses. It is as if your soul tunes in to some long-forgotten needs.
After the afternoon drive, and a moment to savour the sunset, dinner is served around the camp fire under the stars. The moment is enveloped by the African night, where each little sound carries into your soul. After the meal there is a migration to the camp fire, before the welcoming embrace of your sleeping bag.
By Leigh Kemp