Nature seems to emanate an inspiration which encourages us to connect to our true selves. It is to the wild we turn to when we feel uncertain or lost, finding our way beneath African skies, feet rooted to the earth. In seeking answers, we often look to the gentle sentinels of time, finding our replies in the form of trees – the holders of wisdom.
“As long as humans have existed we have looked to mother nature for inspiration, one of those being the site of a big, large, beautiful tree.”
Gus le Breton, aka the African Plant Hunter, recently spent time with a tree which demands respect and gifts inspiration – the Umbrella Tortilis – specifically one which can be gazed upon from the deck area at Nantwich Lodge. Gus reiterates our pull to nature, stating: “As long as humans have existed we have looked to mother nature for inspiration, one of those being the site of a big, large, beautiful tree.”
Nantwich Lodge is located in the far west of Hwange National Park, right on the border with Botswana. This allows for animals to roam freely between the two parks, following natural corridors of old. Other ancient relics of the park are of the forest. The Umbrella tree in front of Nantwich is thought to be over 100 years old, a watchman of Hwange West.
The area has a varied history, of which the Tortillis has witnessed. From being a farm, to falling into ruin to being resurrected from its bygone era into a gorgeous eco-lodge – the land contains many stories. Some of these inspired and were collected by Tony Parks, bestselling Australian author as well as a shareholder of the lodge. Tony fell in love with Africa many decades ago, a self drive holiday through Zimbabwe turned lifelong love affair with Africa, resulting in a career in writing. Having written 17 novels about Africa with fervent passion, Tony teaches us how to fall in love with the unpredictable, allowing the stories to present themselves in their own time. Stories know no boundaries and have limitless possibilities, a shared trait with nature.
Not only does the tree invite retrospection as well as a muse for humans, it also provides an irresistible scratching post for elephants. Its rough bark satisfies an elephants itch like none-other, and this particular tortilis had been rubbed smooth by passing pachyderms, after a dip in the nearby pan.
As the elephants, join us at Nantwich Lodge to cool off overlooking our waterhole, gazing beyond and collecting inspiration from the silhouette of the Umbrella Tortilis.