In praise of sleepless nights

Apparently the human mind is at its most susceptible in the small hours of the morning – those fuzzy, indistinct hours when, surfacing from a deep sleep, we’re most likely to find ourselves consumed with worry over things that in the light of day can seem trivial.

This, the experts tell us, is a throw back to an ancient imperative – to the days when it paid to be awake and on alert because of the very real threat of predatory animals spoiling your night’s sleep.

So it’s interesting how one of the lures of a safari – something that keeps safari addicts coming back time and time again - is the real proximity to nature that sleeping under canvas brings. Nowhere is this more so than on a flycamp in one of Africa's lesser known parks like Ruaha

This of course is the one time your inner-caveman or woman instincts are likely to be vindicated; there's the real prospect of waking in the middle of the night to find a large wild animal just a few feet from where you’re lying.

But the truth is that while your heart will be thumping, there are few experiences as memorable and life-affirming as this. The roar of a lion in camp will make your hair stand on end, but you’ll be longing for it to happen again for the rest of your safari. The glint of moonlight from an elephant’s tusk outside your tent, or its deep contented rumbles (more felt than heard), will be memories you’ll hold onto as long as you live.

Modern safari lodges are becoming more and more luxurious as they cater for an (apparently) ever more sophisticated clientele, but at Natural High we’d still give a nod to the inner caveman and advocate keeping it simple.

No amount of interior design can equal the unforgettable thrill of spending a few nights under canvas in one of Africa’s last unspoiled wildernesses, even if you end up having one or two sleepless nights into the bargain.

Posted by: Alex

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