Unspoilt Places June 10, 2015

There are very few truly unspoilt places left in the world, and I feel it keenly as a great privilege when I turn off onto the sandy 4X4 track to Kosi Forest Lodge. This is simple, original land, if there can be such a thing. People carry firewood on their heads and stop to look at you as you pass. The vegetation is lush and quiet – even the birds seem unhurried and unafraid (though a little less hushed perhaps).

In this protected part of the earth there are forests and lakes and pale blue skies. Fish are caught using circular reed traps where they swim gradually in a spiral labyrinth. Lazy herons and pink flamingos share the spoils, developing new skills and forgetting old.

 

Kosi Bay fishing traps - photograph by Guy Upfold

Kosi Bay fishing traps – photograph by Guy Upfold

Of course when you enter such territory, mile by mile and layer by layer, you begin shedding your own urban pretences. Different things matter here. Electricity comes and goes and locals shrug, lighting gentle oil lamps to help you find your way. Pathways are swept daily using palm branches, Zen-like furrows left casually for a monitor lizard to cross.

You would do well to succumb to the pace here, sooner than later. And as each layer of false self gently falls to the ground you will remember who you are, as your own wholly unspoilt true self emerges unhurried and unafraid.

 

Leaf in clean water of Kosi Bay

 

 

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