Evenings at Serena Amboseli
It’s quarter to ten, Christmas Eve.
The spirits that awaken when darkness descends were alive.
Standing on the hotel porch overlooking the Great Plains of the Amboseli, I was greeted by movement.
A spotted creature had weaved its way in to the hotel, moving nimbly and occasionally looking up, following the music.
The hotel lounge was a veranda where the guests were all clustered and wrapped up in Maasai shukas, mesmerized.
Before them were contorted bodies squeezing through ridiculous spaces, at times flailing through the air only to land on their feet like dread-locked felines. It really never gets old.
The haunting call of the Maasais drove them away as the rhythm of the drums changed. The Morans had now taken the stage.
The drums now thundered with each step of the Morans. Their screams piercing the thick darkness of the night. Their guttural hums ominous, unforgettable.
The fire from the lit bonfire crackled and rounded up the fiery ensemble of this ancient tradition.
Moving my eyes back to the forlorn creature, I found it looking directly at me. It had now moved closer, and all that separated us was about 10 metres of lawn. Apparently, this wasn't the first time a hyena had made its way in to the hotel. Guests are however protected by an interior electric fence.
From the elevated terrace where I was standing, I heard it give out a laugh and move back in to the bushes. Disappearing back in to the blanketing darkness of the wild.
In that moment, I felt transfixed and transported. Rooted to the ground by the scene my eyes were soaking up and transported to a forgotten time when man and nature were one.
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