We know that all of Mother Earth is sacred, yet it appears to me that their are some places that carry a special vibration, where it is easier to connect with Spirit. For me the Kruger National Park is such a place. I have had so many incredible experiences there. Experiences that have removed all doubt about my being on the right spiritual path. I would like to share some of these with you.
It was during one of our earlier tours with a group of Audrey’s Dutch friends and former clients that I received this lesson.
We had experienced a wonderful 2 days in Kruger National Park with some stunning animal sitings and were nearing the time to exit the park and continue our journey. Relaxing at Satara Camp prior to the final 45 minute drive to the exit gate, I reflected on the fact that we had seen all but one of the Big Five of Africa. We had seen Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino, even the Leopard – but not any Lions. The Big Five are on everyone’s list to see.
As anyone who has any experience of travelling the various National Parks (especially Kruger) will tell you, we had done extremely well. One can visit the park many times and not see the big cats, particularly the elusive leopard. So I was feeling satisfied with the gift that the animal kingdom had given us.
It is our practice, prior to entering Kruger National park to stop and attune to the animals in meditation and to ask permission for entry. We also communicate telepathically, our joy to be there and give grateful thanks for any sitings that the animals and birds care to give us. This reverance, sincerely given, has resulted in some truly amazing experiences for Audrey and I.
However, despite our group’s expectations, I was doubtful about us seeing a lion on this visit. (One can visit Kruger 10 times and not see a lion or leopard – although thankfully, this has not been our experience).
Traveling beside me in the front of our minibus, a Dutch lady was adamant that we would see a lion before reaching the Orpen Gate. It was just a matter of fact for her – “we will see a lion” she said. I did not want to burst her bubble, so kept quiet. Twenty minutes later and half way to the gate, we came across a small pride of lion who had just brought down a Giraffe and had not yet started eating it.
It was a dramatic and poignant scene as 50 meters from the lions and their kill, stood another giraffe, the mate of the victim. We sat for a while with mixed feelings, the excitement of seeing the lions and the sadness for the Giraffe.
I began to give thanks to Spirit for this remarkable gift and felt truly emotional for yet another blessing. I silently said “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You” and when I opened my eyes, there walking along the road straight towards us as we sat in our bus, was my personal favourite siting of all – a Wild Dog. One of the rarest sitings in Kruger, he came right up to us and made eye contact as he passed within feet from me as I leaned out of the window of our bus.
It was as if Spirit were reminding me that all we have to do is ask, in attunement, and we will be given abundantly – pressed down and overflowing. I wept at this siting.
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If you can name it – you can have it
The single most moving experience in the Kruger National Park of my life thus far, happened when we were touring with a friend of Audrey’s from the USA. Sandy was on her first visit to South Africa and wanted to see our famous wildlife. We took her to Kruger and to many of our special sacred sites.
Again we held our pre-entry ritual and settled into a blissful 3 days in the Park. On the second day, having had some wonderful game viewing, I decided to show Sandy, one of our favourite Bush Camps – Biyamiti. We could not get accommodation there as it was full, but I checked with Van Rooi, the assistant manager, and he gave us permission to visit this private camp.
Nothing could have prepared us for what was to follow as we set off from Pretoriuskop Camp. It was just after the disastrous fire which claimed the lives of some Park Employees and many animals and vast areas were scorched black.
At the north entry to the Biyamiti Road we had our first big siting – 2 Rhino. We spent some time watching them and had a snack. 500 metres later we turned into the Biyamiti Road and immediately saw a herd of Buffalo in the dry river bed. 1 kilometer on the same road we came upon a huge herd of Elephant, also in the river bed. There were females and babies and a couple of big males feeding close to our minibus. It was a glorious site.
We eventually tore ourselves away from the elephant and continued down the rough dirt road towards Biyamiti Camp. One kilometer before the Camp, at precisely noon, we came upon the finest leopard siting I have seen. A lone female lay in the middle of the road. We stopped the engine and rolled very slowly downhill towards her. A few minutes later another vehicle approached from the opposite direction and I though what a pity, she will now move off. She stood up and walked towards us. We were shivering with excitement as she approached our vehicle just metres away. Audrey and Sandy were leaning out of the side windows as she casually passed by, not 2 metres from them. She stopped just before the car and looked at both of them, busy clicking their cameras. She stopped again right opposite them, each time making direct eye contact. She walked on and turned and again fixed them with those golden orbs of light. The other car kept approaching and as it drew level with us she stopped once more, looked back at us again and then walked off into the bush at the side of the road.
Sandy just burst out crying – she was moved beyond words.
By now, having seen 4 of the big five – on one road!!!, we were so elated, yet at the same time quite exhausted. Lo and behold immediately beyond Biyamiti Camp on the southern section of the road, we came upon – you have guessed it – a large pride of lions on a Giraffe kill, just 5 metres off the road. This pride had 4 young cubs and we had a magical time watching them playing and mock fighting each other.
Never before or since have I seen the Big Five on one road in one day – it was a miracle, but there was more magic to come!
An hour later, when we had spotted another lone male lion walking across a dry river bed, Sandy said “Is there anything else you would you like to see?” I replied “I,m done, satiated, I don’t know if I can take any more”.
She replied, “Isn’t there anything else you would really like to see?”
I thought for a moment as we watched the lion amble towards a bush at the edge of the river then said, “Well I haven’t seen all of the eagles yet, maybe a Martial Eagle, or a Black Breasted Snake Eagle or a Brown Snake Eagle would be good.”
Hardly were the words out of my mouth when the lion reached the bush and disappeared from view. Immediately, from a point above it’s head, a Martial Eagle flew directly towards us and alighted in a big tree right next to our minibus. He was an immature bird, setting out on his own in the big wide world of the largest reserve in South Africa. He just sat there above our heads. The English have an apt slang saying for how I felt – I was Gobsmacked!
Audrey looked at me knowingly, well aware of what I was struggling with inwardly and the close connection that I have with all birds. Audrey said quietly, have you got it yet?
We stayed a while with the Eagle and then set off on our return to Camp. Two hundred metres along the road a Black Breasted Snake Eagle flew in a straight line at our vehicle and right over the windscreen, just 3 metres above the bus. By now I was shaking. In awe we returned to Camp for our last evening.
The first siting the next morning as we drove south towards Malalene Gate? – a Brown Snake Eagle rose from its kill some 40 metres to our left, flew around our bus and immediately back to it’s kill. How can one express one’s gratitude for such miracle? Words fail me. Not only were the next three sitings exactly what I had verbalised, but in the sequence I had asked for them – And still there was more to come!
As we approached the last kilometer to Malelane Gate, 2 more eagles flew alongside our bus on our left, slightly ahead but travelling at the same speed. Suddenly one peeled off and flew in front of us, turned and flew right at us. Twenty metres ahead of us, he flipped his wings sidewards, twice as if saluting or bidding farewell, then abruptly returned to fly in unison with it’s mate. I could contain myself no longer and the tears started to flow freely down my face. What an incredible gift!
This true incident has become a great source of inspiration to me and when the three dimensional world exerts its pressures and things appear to be getting too tough to handle, the recollection of this event returns me to sanity.
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Messengers of War
We have been blessed to make some wonderful friends in our work, many of whom have travelled with us several times. Jane Bell who has her own travel company in the USA, Presence of Heart, is one such friend. It was while on tour with one of Jane’s groups that these remarkable incidents occured.
The tour started in Mpumalanga where we visited some sacred sites and included 3 days in Kruger National Park. We had been concerned about whether the group would travel as it was at the crucial time of the USA / Iraq confrontation and everyone was anxious about whether or when the American Troops would invade Iraq. Being conscious Americans, obviously none of the group supported such action.
The day before the invasion took place, we were in the Kruger National Park. Travelling through the southern section en route via Lower Sabie to Satara, we were astounded to see more Rhino’s in one day than I have ever seen in all of the other visits combined. Rhino after Rhino after Rhino kept showing themselves to us. We saw 14 Rhino on that journey to Satara.
I could not believe what was going on as Rhino sitings are usually quite rare.
We heard the next morning that the USA Troops had invaded Iraq and Jo eclaimed in anguish – “I Knew it – I Knew it – when I saw all those Rhino’s In their armoured hides, like soldiers, I just knew they would invade.”
The last part of the tour was in Cape Town and one of our first visits was to Lion’s Head, where we like to spend some time in meditation in the Muslim Kramat, one of the holy temples marking the sacred circle of Islam around the city. We advised everyone to dress for the occasion and how to observe protocol while entering and during worship inside.
This particular day there was a family of Muslim people in worship as we entered. Mother, Father, baby and Grandmother, all seated on the floor. We silently seated ourselves and went into our own meditations.
The meditation was serene and the gentle singing and chanting from the two Muslim women added to the occasion. At one point during the silence, all that could be heard was the suckling of the baby.
After quite some time, the Grandmother rose from the floor and went to each of our group in turn (There were 20 of us in all). While we were still meditating, she took our hands in hers. One by one we looked into her eyes, no words were spoken, just an exchange of such love, respect and oneness. It was like receiving Shakti from a great mystic.
It also epitomised the gift that this wonderful country of South Africa has for the rest of the world – of reconcilliation, of living in harmony with each other, of our oneness. The miracle of the Rainbow Nation touches everyone who visits.
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Solar Eclipse Kruger National Park
Our small group of 7 attuned to the animals on entering the reserve. This visit was for a very special occasion – the Solar Eclipse of 2002 and Kruger National Park was to be in the 100% eclipse range. I was excited to observe the effect on the birds and animals behaviour when the sun was eclipsed.
We set off early morning for the designated Eclipse site in the northern section of the park. It was still dark and there were many vehicles on the road travelling towards the viewing site. Surprisingly we had not seen a great deal of animals up to this point of our 2 day visit and none of the cats. We arrived at the site and, along with many other Eclipse watchers, settled to await the last eclipse in South Africa for 30 years.
Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating. The sky was covered in a blanket of cloud, but we were hopeful it might clear. As the time grew closer it seemed as though we would have no view of the eclipse. Gradually it became darker and everything fell silent. Our group began to meditate.
Still the sky remained overcast except for a brief moment when the clouds parted and revealed the Eclipse to us, then it was gone again.
During my subsequent meditation, I was joined by 4 lions, each positioned in the 4 directions as if standing guard around me. Since meeting Linda Tucker, the author of the marvellous book “Children of the Sun God” and a champion in the fight against canned lion hunting in South Africa, I have become acutely aware of the special significance of this king of beasts, especially the White Lions of the Timbavati.
I became aware that the message for me was to activate the lion spirit within, in order to overcome the negative thoughts and fears that I have so often emboddied.
Up to that point in our journey, no lions had shown themselves to us but I held hopes that they would. We had 1 more night before we left to drive back to Johannesburg International Airport and the end of the tour.
Then the magic began and in the next 24 hours we saw no fewer than 17 lions in 5 different sitings – virtually unheard of (although in a subsequent visit we saw 25 lions in 2 days, surely a record for Kruger?).
Audrey was particularly amused when, on the day of our departure for the 5 hour drive to Johannesburg Airport, we were held up in a traffic jam – inside Kruger National Park!
We came upon a whole group of vehicles lined up across the road. As we edged our way forward to get a view of what was going on – we saw 2 magnificent lionesses sprawled nonchalently across the width of the road. They were totally unconcerned about the cars and clearly had no International Flight to catch or any other pressing appointment.
It is amazing how nature has so often presented her messages so clearly. Phi became a little anxious as he and Diahann were flying onward to Madagascar and obviously did not want to miss the flight. David and Lorna were flying to London and Martine to Holland. Feeling responsible, I too began to get anxious as the ‘what if’ fears started to surface, even though I had allocated plenty of time for potential minor misshaps en route. Audrey reminded me to ‘stay with the flow – be in the magic’ and assured us that all was well. Just to relax and be in the wonder of what was happening. She was right of course – as usual.
When we had received the message and let go of control, the lions slowly got up and ambled off the road to walk off into the bush and the traffic jam unsnarled. We arrived at Johannesburg Airport with lots of time to spare and much to ponder on.