A Gorgeous Reflection of An Overseas Guest Dreaming of Camp Kuzuma

Freedom is something we have all come to value – the ability and right to choose freely where to roam, crossing borders and experiencing the spaces between. We move at our choice of pace with our pack, our herd, our troop – our tribe. In this vacuum of time where journeys are precious, freedom lies within our imagination and our memories, and the one I sit with today transports me back to my time spent at Camp Kuzuma, Chobe.

“…immersed in the wild yet fringed in luxury…”

Camp Kuzuma is a boutique eco-lodge in Botswana that borders Chobe National Park and Hwange National Park. This deems it a veritable animal intersection, species roaming between the two parks with no imposed travel restrictions – a concept we all dream of! Reflecting in gratitude of my time at Camp Kuzuma, immersed in the wild yet fringed in luxury – I realise how much I learnt from nature. The professional guides at the lodge truly opened my eyes to dynamics I had long forgotten how to read, the connection to the natural world a distant memory.

One fact in particular kept returning to my mind – animal corridors. Learning and understanding that animals have formed natural paths and corridors in the wild, throughout the park and beyond to neighbouring countries, felt comforting to me. Ancient routes shared over generations hold the footsteps and stories of wildlife, solid and certain in their journey, moving together in solidarity. It made the park surroundings seem vast, my mind expanding with the distance travelled by the wild, each footstep part of a bigger, interconnected plan.

“…it is abundant in game – huge herds of sable, zebra and elephant graced us with their presence…”

On one of our game drives, our guide took us to the Seloko Plains, an integral corridor linking Botswana to Zimbabwe, just beyond the lodge. Abundant in woodland species, it is also abundant in game – huge herds of sable, zebra and elephant graced us with their presence – sharing a section of their journey, a mere moment in the scheme of their travels. A passionate conservation initiative called Elephants Without Borders is involved with the monitoring and tracking of wildlife to ensure their safety and protection in the human and wildlife conflict arena. Our guide explained their unwaverable determination to create harmony between animals and locals, benefiting livelihoods of all. We sat and watched in awe, and honour, to witness the historic and innate migratory patterns of the wild with the knowledge of the human effort to conserve these for the future.

Even though, in this pause, we are not able to travel, I remain comforted by the fact that journeys continue within wild spaces. Steps are being taken along paths and across borders, corridors solidified by foot and mind for centuries more to come. Until then, we are transported by our stories and memories, and plans to return to the Seloko Plains, once again connecting to the natural world.

Celine Payne