Hiking through the Kruger National Park provides a close-up view of nature. If the truth be told, this is the correct way to observe nature.
There are two sacred rules when entering the Kruger National Park: never leave one’s vehicle after exiting the camps and never walk in the bush. In contrast, on the walking trails through the Kruger Park, all such safety rules are ignored in their entirety during the hike.
What a hike does is to allow one is to obtain an animal’s eye view of the environment. In the open with the sun beating down on one, one is at one with nature, imbibing it, becoming at one with it. Instead of being detached from nature one becomes an integral part of it. One’s senses become heightened and thereby become attuned to nature. All the sights and sounds of civilisation are banished and if they are ever heard or observed such as an overflying plane, it is like an intrusion into one’s private domain.
On the other hand when one drives through a game reserve, the detail becomes a blur and inconsequential and it is only the larger objects that one is aware of. But that is merely the tip of nature, the .0000001% of what we regard as nature. Nature is much more than that. It represents the whole ecosystem from the tiniest creature to the leviathans such as the elephants.
In fact, if the truth be told, what one wishes for on this type of hike are two things: animals wandering through the camp and to encounter one the Big Five Animals during the hike itself.
I have once before experienced nature like this and have written a series of articles entitled “Living the Rhythms of the Bush Life” about a two week sojourn in the Botswana Bush when one truly becomes one with nature.
After prevaricating for many years, the opportunity to experience the bush close-up and personal arose when the Quo Vadis Hiking Club elected to do this trail.