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To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour William Blake Auguries of Innocence So starts one of the world’s best poems (always for me). It harks of lost days when we used to stop to examine a flower, or chase a grasshopper, or lie on the green carpet of grass, or kick the waves in the sand. When we were kids, unafraid of anything, free of the chains of fear. How does that relate to Zakouma? The newly opened park is exactly that – a paradise for me, and a haven for animals. The poem descends into a whirlpool of depression and repression, but for Zakouma, the opposite is true – it has rebounded from the repression and the loss, the forgotten and the hopelessness. For me, the trip to Zakouma began on a whisper of hope and ended with buckets of optimism, even if tinged with fears for the future.
I just came across this wonderful French film from 1994 “Une Journée dans la Parc de Zakouma au Tchad” A Day in Zakouma National Park in Chad, although there would have been many more elephants when this was filmed than is the case now Zakouma seems otherwise not to have changed that much. Although it is interesting to see a hippo as these animals are now I believe entirely absent from the park but I presume were still there when this film was shot. Rather than write a whole lot more on this very special place I will direct anyone in search of further information to the trip report Zakouma One Week in Wildest Africa that @@Paolo and I wrote and also to the African Parks website.
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