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SOULFARI – Why the Serengeti is good for your soul.

Amanda Rushforth explores the amazing wilderness of Tanzania and finds it incredibly healing and good for the soul. Wilderness is as important as food, water and shelter. It is a place where one can re-discover oneself, renewing the soul and balance in life.

It’s more than just a landscape, Africa has an incredible way of earthing you, from the moment you land on its clay red soil in a small inter-safari Cessna, to driving across the tundra in a Toyota jeep designed purely to encourage those 360* magic moments with its inhabitants. The landscape runs from horizon to horizon, punctuated only by the trees and rocks, whose shapes and shadows mimic the animals we avidly search for, roaming the terrain.

The wind drives the Serengeti’s scents and smells, wild basil perforated sporadically under the tyres of the jeep, whilst the aroma of baking earth under foot is tinged with an almost pleasant dusty note that serves to remind you you’re in real nature. The Serengeti safari drives are winding and uneven, but even the incessant bumps quickly move from spine jerking to a more melodic perpetual motion. As the warmth of the sun gleams through the windows of the jeep, you fall further into a state of total relaxation. It’s here at this moment that your daydreams are all too real.

Bringing you out of this somewhat meditative stare across the fields and fields of golden grass that rocket past are the indescribable viewings and encounters with the animals that inhabit this terrain. Hippo’s lounge around upstream, keeping a wary eye on the crocodiles basking on the shore, whilst trumpets pierce the silence from the largest of all the Earth’s beings as they warn of their arrival with their young, at the local watering hole. This isn’t about a bucket list of the  ‘big 5’ but a really personalised discovery of why Africa is referred to as God’s land.

Time slows to allow every whisper through the blades of grass meet your ears, feigning a sense of urgency or looming presence with their dramatic soundtrack. The whistle of the wind loudly finds gaps in the natural surroundings of the hotel, complemented by the music of the cicadas as the sun goes down and their predator’s cries with beautiful feathers. The sun sets in vibrant pinks, fiery oranges and plum-like purples to remind you there’s a rotation, but under what feels like a never-ending full moon, you’d be forgiven for thinking that time here stood still. As the dawn breaks, there’s no risk of monotony with hours to be spent out under the Tanzanian skies, it’s the most soul-connected place to be.

WHERE TO STAY: Four Seasons Serengeti, for the ultimate up close and personal luxury experience with the Serengeti and its animals.

 AMANDA HAMILTON-Rushforth is a travel and wellness blogger living in Dubai. Originally from the U.K. but with over 10 years in Dubai and a further 10+ in the Middle East as a whole.“I have a passion for the homegrown and I champion all things eco. I’m also the Middle East ambassador for the non-profit marine conservation campaign AZRAQ ME. amandarushforth.com is my sun-soaked outlet for all things inspiring, engaging and often exhausting. It features 3 key pillars; wellness, travel and adventure, highlighting everything from hotspots to brands I’m loving and living. I’ve has always had a passion for travel and adventure, from skydiving to surfing; sitting still has never really been an option. I’m always travelling, with over 30+ countries and a few more on the horizon each year; I like to keep things fresh. I’ve cage dived with Great White Sharks in South Africa, skydived in Dubai, paraglided over Zighy Bay in Oman and fed stingrays in the Maldives and I won’t be stopping anytime soon.” visit: www.amandarushforth.com. Insta: @amandarushforth


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