Return to Collection
Next Photograph


Under Kilimanjaro she guards her young
And she speaks to the darkness in the mother tongue
She waits and she watches all night long
Calls to her lover and she sings this song
Gretchen Peters-Over Africa

In the inky darkness of a new moon the sounds of Serengeti herald the impending dawn. I refer to the couplet verse of a ring-necked dove, mourning for her continent, for the people, for her wildlife brethren. It's an anthem, stirring deep, calling back the pilgrim. That would be me.

The sun creeps above yonder horizon. The sky puts on a color show, like southern lights-red, orange, lilac, and finally ocean blue. The anthem continues. Shimmering wildlife appears in the distance, wildebeests on the move. Possessed of a wandering gene, or simply in search of greener pastures? No one really knows. But they are restless. Even their sound is fidgety.

Kopjes, tree tufted mounds of granite boulders, rise like islands in a sea of savanna. Found only here, they punctuate the plains like unique braille bumps. They offer shade, security, and a perch for predators. A female lion crouches atop a high boulder, gaze fixed, ears cocked, flicking her tail side to side. Surely the morning hunt. But no. Now I see him too, a big male with black mane blowing in the wind, the king in royal strut, cleaving the tall grass. He's the center of this universe and he knows it.

Later, making our way through a disheveled thicket, there is dust in the distance. Soon the thicket opens and in the clearing are two elephants, adolescent males sparring, baggy "britches" waving to and fro. Then a heave and a ho, and finally, trunk raised, the trumpet call of victory. The victor turns and glares at us, bluff charges, then struts away in triumph.

© Danny Kimberlin 2015