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.
Sicelo Mbatha is a facilitator of spiritual experiences of the wilderness. He has devoted his life to fostering deep connections between humans and nature, and in enabling members of his own community to experience the wilderness. He grew up alongside the Huhluwe/Imfolozi nature reserve in South Africa, and nature has always been his medicine, his teacher and his spiritual home.