When was the last time you got shiny eyes? When you felt so excited by what just happened that you couldn’t wait to share it with others? When you felt gloriously lucky to be alive?
It seems to me that as we get older, the less we experience moments of genuine wonderment. But one place I saw lots of shiny eyes a couple of months ago, was on our Mindful Safari trip to South Africa. The eyes were those of people in their forties through to their seventies. Some had visited Africa many times. Others were newcomers. But each one of us felt the same awe, incredulity, and amazing privilege to encounter some of the world’s most magnificent wild animals, up close and personal, in their own territory.
Every game drive is its own adventure. You don’t know who you may encounter. A family of lions, just metres away, resting in the shade. A pair of giraffe grazing on thorn trees in the mid-morning warmth. A leopard feeding off its prey in the uppermost branches of a tree, in the cool of the evening. Sitting in the Land Rover, taking this all in, and/or filming it on our preferred devices, we almost held our collective breaths, hardly able to believe what we were seeing. And getting back home, there was a lot of laughter and excited chatter over the fire as people swapped notes about what they saw, smelled and touched out in the bush.
The fact that we started each day with a guided meditation, and have other mindfulness activities throughout the day, is a great advantage when game-viewing. Whether as a novice meditator, or a seasoned yogi, we are all coming to this in the same spirit of curiosity. And kindness. In fact, ‘Be Kind’ is our one and only rule.
Those who are single, and don’t want to miss out on travel, appreciate being able to eat, meditate, and take game drives as part of a group – but also having the chance to unwind and enjoy some personal space back in our rooms in the early afternoons – siesta time!
Right now we’re planning Mindful Safari 2016. Because a couple of the people who came this year have already booked in for next, places are quickly filling. And we have only 10 beautiful chalets available. So if you’re interested, please contact Barbara Tuner, our travel manager as soon as possible. You’ll find her contact details, along with dates and prices at: http://www.davidmichie.com/safari.html
Join me on Mindful Safari in 2016 – and let’s get your eyes shiny!
(To check out some of the photos from Mindful Safari this year go to: http://davidmichie.com/blog/2015/08/25/photos-from-mindful-safari-2015/)
(My grateful thanks for some of the photos on this page to Claudia Schnell of Claudia Schnell Safaris who, along with her partner Robin, are our hosts on Mindful Safari: http://www.claudiaschnell.com/claudiaschnellse.html)