We recently spent 5 nights at Mapungubwe’s Leokwe Camp, seeing out the old year and welcoming a new one in. This national park was J’s home for a year in 2006 – his first year in South Africa – and it’s where we got married in 2009.
In the three years in the middle, we fell in love with each other. Our early emotions and feelings are inextricably connected to the landscape. We see ourselves in the two halves of the mopane leaves, in the klipspringers that bound over the rocks, in the tangled roots of the rock figs and in the shooting stars we’ve watched and wished on together.
The warmth of the sun reflecting off the russet rocks feels like love. Fish eagles calling over the confluence sound like love. The baobabs – timeless and sure – look like love.
I don’t know how many times we’ve been back to the park for work or leisure, but each time, the landscape claims us. This trip was no exception. Welcomed by familiar faces, old memories mixed with new ones as we introduced our bush baby to our ‘heart home’, whispering to her that this is where it all began…
We lounged in Leokwe’s rock pool, watched Zimbabwe flat lizards dance over the rocks and reveled in an Eden of wildflowers. We lazed while elephants dozed, chased butterflies in the midday sun and sat quietly in darkness while the moon rose.
Thank-you Mapungubwe for welcoming us home. Where there is already so much love, more grows.