There is something of a surprise in the African bush.
And I don’t mean the big 5 of the animal kingdom.
Singita Lebombo in the Kruger National Park, Monday afternoon.
I am talking about colour.
I don’t mean the camouflage gold’s of Leopard, Cheetah and Giraffe or the shimmering greys of the Antelope families but the heart melting shades of the African birds, butterflies and wildflowers. I have been mesmerised by the colours of southern Africa and haven’t appreciated before the incredible combinations nature has dreamt up.
If there were a place to seek inspiration for interior palettes it would be here.
On first glance the bush registers as a canvas of complex greens, every shade imaginable from the pale-barely-there to the almost iridescent. Look a little closer and the animals with their elaborate coats and personal adornments add another layer. Black and white stripes, blocks and zigzag play a big part in bush decor. Delve a little further and the birdlife throws a curve ball of colour when you least expect it. The violets, the rose tones, the indigos and turquoise hues shake my commitment to the monochrome and neutrals. These beauties are beyond beautiful.
The birds are small, minute in some cases and each species is unique and adapted to suit the environment. Colour is oftentimes how they survive. They are magicians in their own right; changing colours when the need arises. The most insignificant brown feathers can turn to vivid yellows and cardinal reds.
Butterflies, prolific after the rain, play amongst the grasses in every primary colour. I can’t remember their names but I can see their fluttering brilliance as I recall them now.
And the wildflowers,
The wildflowers are pastel and perfect; wild foxgloves and bush hibiscus have sprung up all over the Kruger Park. Baby blue and pink foxgloves contrast with the soft lemon of the wild hibiscus.
I didn’t imagine a Garden of Eden when I came on safari.
The beauty of nature; it is always a surprise. More about life in Lebombo tomorrow; it’s time for another adventure. xv
image, singita lebombo conde naste