What is being “at peace”? A series of gentle-but-fleeting impressions or experiences that linger to make a lasting, more integrated, whole? Quietly sharing a special moment with family, wife, husband, partner, parent? Being able to spend time doing what you wish in an environment that takes one back to one’s evolutionary roots? How and where to find “Peace” is, of course, a variable feast for all of us with a million-and-one possibilities but a luxury African holiday can provide this sought after, overlooked and (regrettably) often-ephemeral spiritual commodity.
And, then, how to define luxury?!? To me, as I sit writing this, it would be luxury to just be in the bush; flycamping in Katavi or, perhaps, at Sosian knowing the camels are safely “done” for the night. Or to sit and watch Wild Dog for an hour that might stretch to several. Cantering down a sandy track in South Africa or (yes, I know, off subject on an African website but why not?) to be camped by a river in Canada with the call of the loon and wolf nearby are also, to me, simple, effervescent, life-enhancing luxuries. Thus, to myself (I hear my colleague, the wonderful Hashim, agreeing) the “luxury” is obtained from the experience per se rather than the accoutrements of where I stay. Again this is (and can only be) a highly personal opinion and I fully accept that, to many, “luxury” is Egyptian cotton sheets and towels in the middle of the bush or champagne for sundowners. Make no mistake about my own motives here, either, I’d say “Why not, indeed!” to such luxury and I certainly wouldn’t turn it down; we all have differing ideas and I have no axe to grind at all with whatever your own definition of “luxury” may be. But I do think that there is a peace that comes from being somewhere you really want to be, in an environment with which you connect, that gives you an inner feeling of luxurious satisfaction that is common to all these experiences.
There’s a point to these musings and I’m not going to even elaborate here on excellent food, great guiding (crucial) or super-comfortable beds in huge en suite tents in the most extraordinarily lovely locations, let alone stunning wildlife. That’s for other blogs and my point is this: I often get asked – sometimes in roundabout ways – to create a “luxury” African holiday.
But we know that luxury is different things to different people so, in order to do my duty to you, oh esteemed client, I need to know who you are! What makes you tick? What is it about Africa that entices you – perhaps for the second, third or fourth time? Can I empathise with your own feelings, desires and passions so that I can create exactly the right safari or holiday for you, with all the right nuances? For this, to me, is another luxury; in the process of creating exactly the right balance within a holiday I have the privilege of conversing with (and, sometimes, getting to know rather well) a wide range of very special, often talented, individuals. Most have skills I can only dream of and all are totally different yet have a single unifying desire: to go to Africa. What a luxury…….