Throughout the TV show I got the sense that there was a collective breath being held. As the week continued on, this breath grew and grew until at last, at the climax of TV’s final episode, it was unleashed. As the credits rolled for the final time, a resounding cheer sounded across Final Control. Hugs were exchanged, drinks were opened despite the early hour, and I had the sense that a great weight had been lifted. safariLIVE had completed another astonishing show, overcame obstacles, and now, it had come to a final, fitting end.

In the aftermath of the prime-time TV shows, much celebrating ensued. That night relief spilled out in droves as everyone relaxed, had fun, and celebrated. It felt earned for everyone and then, all too soon, the evening came to an end. I went to sleep, rather exhausted after getting up each morning around 4 AM, and collapsed into a deep slumber. With the morning off, I slept through the entire night and woke up close to 9 AM.

I opened my eyes and came to a realization as the fog cleared from my head- TV was over. It seemed suddenly anticlimactic, having just come to a stop like that. I emerged from my room into the eerily quiet camp. It was quite a contrast to the night before and reminded of those early mornings when I had emerged into the stillness of the dark air with only the calls of wildlife to greet me. Eventually, other faces did emerge, but several familiar people were not among them and I was surprised to hear they had already departed, going off on their respective leaves. There seemed a note of finality to everything and once again, change was in the air.

Everything returned to normal, as well still broadcast two daily safaris to the internet. I resumed my work; the quiet pace of the camp now seemed almost uncanny. I had quickly grown used to a large collection of individuals sharing the small camp space, to getting up at 4 AM and walking into FC, to seeing the team already banging away. The aftermath was serene and calm; quite the contrast.

During this calm period, the final week before my leave, I reflected on my time here. It all seemed to have happened so fast; how could two months disappear just like that? And yet it had. Looking over it, it was a flash, but I had done so much! I had written multiple blogs, produced a video, worked every day assisting the directors, and had tons of interactions with the community of safariLIVE, from night safaris to movie nights to general silliness. Looking back, it really was true I had seen a world like no other.

Djuma has been a wonderful experience. I’m very proud of what I did here and that I was able to partake in safariLIVE’s epic 5 day binge series. It was truly incredible and as I stood alone one morning I took a look around. The morning air was cool, the sun not having risen to its full height to bathe the land in its blazing heat. Around me were the rooms of my coworkers. Above was a Marula tree, its fruit littering the sandy floor of the dining area. The calls of hornbills echoed through the trees. A giant dung beetle crawled past my room, looking very ungainly as it waddled on its merry way. And I had one thought: ‘I want to come back’. I hope I get that chance. Thank you, safariLIVE, for having me and I hope I return to Africa again someday.