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Zambia’s oldest, largest park, Kafue National Park, is one of the stillest places I have ever been to. There is no traffic (you may see one other car if you drive through the park, but then again, you may not). There are very few people (if you stay at one of the remote lodges you may bump into a handful of people … or you may not, depending on the time of year). The animals move slowly. Time itself moves slowly.

When I sat down to write about Kafue, I realised haiku was probably the most perfect form in which to distill that stillness, that sense of being quite literally out of touch with everyone and everything – I was well out of cellphone range.

Kafue, Zambia

Grass shifts, with slight clicks,
murmurs. Living language. A
breeze across the vlei.

*

Waterbuck approach
the outpost of my silence.
Freeze, or look away.

*

Breeze through the tent-mesh.
Song of painted reed-frogs lost
for just a moment.

Image

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