Travelling Zambia — the human mind at night in Africa

Sara Drawwater
27 June 2011
Evenings at

My travelling Zambia seriesThis is the **sixth** article in a series about my 2010 experiences travelling in Zambia. If you haven’t had a chance to read earlier articles here’s the beginning.

Evenings at Prana in Livingstone are wonderfully far from the madding crowd. Sitting by the fire that Funwell lit for us I find myself taking in that amazing smell of an open fire. I smile inwardly as I take in the sound of crackling, sparks and crickets. I smile because that is it, that is all you can hear on this pleasant evening at Prana. Oh and Funwell’s radio playing in the distant background but that is ok, I can deal with that! Of course you could invent a whole heap of exciting things to do but this is perfect for us, for the moment.

Trevor’s gone to look at the stars. “Oh there’s a lot,” he says. He is looking for the Southern Cross. I’m thinking I should have paid more attention to my Dad! I did listen to something as I can spot Orion and his dog, but that’s about it. Shirley is dozing on the hammock swing again. I’ve missed this sound — it’s the sound of nothing but nature. My thoughts return to the stars. I can’t show them the Southern Cross but I can see the Milky Way.

But if you look out into the darkness you suddenly think of yourself as this spec in this vast natural wilderness and fear can easily set in. As the night closes in it is very easy to lose control. During an African night the most innocent of sounds can turn into your worst nightmare of unimaginable creatures. Because it’s pitch black things become unexplainable and then you daren’t leave your bed just in case! After all investigation could lead to untimely death!

Unnamed woke me up at 2am. Apparently it took a lot to wake me up and all I could muster was, “Go back to sleep, it’s not worth worrying about.” Apparently it was a long night! Having grown up in a wilderness similar to this I am used to not trying to explain the unexplainable sounds and movements of the night. I have learned that in the morning tranquillity rules. I have learned that tranquillity usually rules at night too — but because your imagination is in charge it really doesn’t feel that way. Don’t get me wrong. In the wilderness in Zambia, your surroundings are likely to be dangerous (there are wild animals). But your hosts are well aware of their surroundings. You are in a safe haven providing you follow the rules and control your mind!

The morning will come and less frightening creatures of a feathered variety will help you welcome in the day. At Prana there are birds, birds and more birds that seem to reach a crescendo that never quite ends. As I take a nice warm shower listening to them I think I should be able to tell you what birds I can hear. But I took it all for granted as a child, and once more I’m reminded that I should have listened to Dad.

I am outside by about 8am. The sun has risen and has pleasantly broken through the once foreboding night sky and cloud. It is perfect t-shirt and shorts weather. I’m on the hammock swing thing. It’s massive and so comfy with pillows and a mattress. It’s bigger than a single bed and easily fits two! I lay down and close my eyes. There’s the sound of a gentle breeze through the trees, more birds and the stretch and sigh of the signature green tin roof of Prana. Oh, and the odd leaf falling to the ground.

Prana is a place to come and switch off, gather your thoughts, clear your head and be at peace. It is a perfect first stop for a holiday for four over worked individuals tired of Western pressures. I can imagine Prana is great for family gatherings and groups of friends who can swim, relax, BBQ and tell stories by the camp fire. But there are better places to go if all you want is a bed for the night. Prana has more than that to offer.

It’s great for relaxing, time out, mediation, yoga breaks, families and groups who want to take things at their own pace. Perfect for cutting yourself off from the stresses of life and reading books! Prana is good for those comfortable with nothing to do, who just want time out with themselves or their travelling friends. And don’t forget all the adventures of Livingstone are just 15–20 minutes drive away. Does Prana have the best of both worlds?

*My travelling Zambia series**This is the **sixth** article in a series about my 2010 experiences travelling in Zambia.*

1: Travelling Zambia — the beginning2: Travelling Zambia — Heathrow to Lusaka3: Travelling Zambia — our Lusaka arrival4: Travelling Zambia — tribal accommodation5: Travelling Zambia — the zen like Prana in Livingstone*6: *Travelling Zambia — the human mind at night in Africa

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