Sicelo Mbatha Jonathan Ball Publishers BM|WNC|R Paperback 2022
Wilderness guide Sicelo Mbatha shares lessons learnt from a lifetime's intimate association with Africa's wildest nature. 'Black Lion' begins in rural South Africa where a deeply traumatic childhood experience - a cousin being dragged away by a crocodile - should have turned him against the surrounding wilderness. Instead, he was irresistibly drawn to it. As a volunteer at Imfolozi Nature Reserve, close encounters with animals taught him to 'see' with his heart and thus began a spiritual awakening. Drawing from his Zulu culture and a yearning to better understand human's relationship to nature, Sicelo has forged a new path to nature with an immersive, respectful and transformative way of being in the wilderness. As humanity hurtles into the anthropogenic 21st century, 'Black Lion' is an urgent reminder of how much we need wilderness for our emotional and spiritual survival.