The fifty-minute flight from Johannesburg into
the Madikwe conservation area, bordered by
Botswana and the Kalahari Desert, does little
to prepare me for what’s in store upon landing.
Almost mythically, the plane descends and I’m
able to discern the spiky grey thicket that defines
the African bush and maybe, just maybe, a
spotted head at the end of a long neck bobbing
in and out of view. I self-consciously suppress a
giggle, a shortsighted and wasted effort, since
giddiness would become my loyal partner for
the rest of the trip. Squinting through the red dust
kicked up by our landing, I spot my smiling guide
awaiting our arrival at the Molori Safari Lodge—
and soon it will come as no surprise that “molori”
means “dreamer” in Setswana.