‘Oh no not another sunset picture' is a common reaction today to images of what is one of the most photographed aspects of an African safari.
These pictures are usually taken from a pre-designated spot when the guides have set out the snacks and drinks. The place may be looking over a river, a plain with tall trees or sometimes a waterhole where animals have come down to drink.
The sunset stop is an integral part of the African safari, a rite of passage for any self-respecting safari-goer, so much so that some guests start fidgeting and continually looking at their watches as the sun sinks lower and lower towards the horizon.
But are all sunsets the same, as claimed by many jaded bush people? Well, for a guide who stops at the same place every evening, the sunsets may very well all melt into a single unmemorable entity, an irritation and a waste of time.
For me, however, the African sunsets will never become boring and will always be more than an opportunity to sample snacks and sip on sundowners. Each sunset, as is every aspect of the African wilderness I might add, is a masterpiece.
Yes and each sunset is different .... even from the same spot every evening. The sounds are different each evening, there may be a different scent in the air to the last and there will always be a sense of anticipation - to hear the distant roar of a lion or a hyena calling across the wilderness.
'The sun sets at the end of every day, there is nothing philosophical in that so get over it', a colleague once told me during a discussion on the various aspects of a wilderness experience. How wrong he is!