When Precious learned she had been selected to go on a five day Wilderness Trail, so was more than a little apprehensive at the thought of being out in the bush for five days. After arriving at the Wilderness Leadership School, and meeting the rest of the participants of the trail along with the guides, the fun began with packing of back packs and a short lecture on what to expect from the trail. And of course, there was the handing over of all Cell-phones, watches, radios and anything that would connect them the outside world. And then they were off… It came as quite a surprise that they would all be carrying all their food for a week, along with all the pots and utensils, and would be collecting water along the way from the rivers that run through the area. Making fire, cooking and collecting water was surely a different way for the group to spend their first night, after having come from warm houses, electricity and running water. By night, each group member took turns to watch the fire and ensure no animals came into the sleeping area, which was very daunting in the black night of the bush, but Precious got through it and understandably after some stage fright, and some gentle advice from the guides got through it despite having a curious hyena being a little too close for comfort! Sleep was peaceful under a blanket of stars and the lulling sounds of the African Bush serenading them all. The following days saw the group walking through the reserve, learning about all the indigenous vegetation, along with their healing properties, as well as the abundant wildlife and learning how best to interact safely with no interference to the animals.
The elephant, rhino, giraffe and all the other animals had a profound effect on the group and watching them undisturbed in their natural environment was an absolute gift. They watched a rhino mark its territory and then take a dip to rid itself of ticks before having a good scratch on one of the nearby trees. During the day, the group would stop at the rivers to cool down and wash, while the guides made sure no errant crocodiles came visiting to see what the commotion was all about. There was also a cultural element which exposed the group to the grinding stones used by the old Zulu tribes to grind their grain. They also walked the same land where King Shaka and his tribe used to walk and hunt, and train the impis that would become the most respected and fearsome warriors in the land. After five days, the intrepid group began their final trek back out of the reserve, and luckily came across a herd of elephant as a final farewell from the area. Precious left the trail happy to be alive, and full of such strength and courage and a new view on life and a respect and admiration for nature. She left feeling connected to life, and God and most of all, found out so much about herself which made her very grateful for this amazing opportunity.