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  • Writer's pictureThe Singing Grass

A Touch of Blue

What comes to mind when you think of the colour blue?

Perhaps it’s an image of crystalline water shimmering in a thousand shades of turquoise, as you bask on the sugary sands of an exotic island location. Perhaps it’s the cerulean skies of a warm spring day, as you walk through the cobblestone streets of a remote village, the bougainvillaeas splashing a crisp magenta over the whitewashed walls.

It could be the dusty cornflower blue of the wildflowers that line the sides of the highway, the shade of the mountains seen from a distance, or perhaps even Miles Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue’.

And what images come when you think of an African bushcamp retreat?

The yellowish-green of the tall grasses of the Serengeti. The burnt copper of the sunset as it washes the horizon in its fierce glow. The warm ochre of the land as it fractures, baked by the heat of the midsummer sun. The rustic terracotta of the clay dug from the ground or churned up by the hooves of the wildebeest as they play their role in the greatest show on earth.

The Singing Grass

The Singing Grass is unique for many reasons. Among them is our use of the colour blue. When we opted to incorporate this colour in our palette, we were advised that it wasn’t the done thing for bushcamp retreats in the great plains of the Serengeti. Umber, saffron, Indian yellow and burnt sienna are safer colours. More understood, acceptable, ‘normal’.

Alas, The Singing Grass is anything but normal. We seek to rewrite the story of the Serengeti wildlife retreat. We strive to impact this magnificent land in which we have found ourselves positively and preserve its integrity for the generations yet to come. When our guests spend time in our home, we help them experience the essence of the land, witness the tribal heritage and the behaviour of the wildlife, and savour the aromatic flavours of the exquisite cuisine. And so, secure in our faith, we dared to step away from tradition.

Touches of blue freckle our bushcamp like the soft stains of a watercolour painting. It adds hints of wonder, suggestions of depth and an undertone of romance that pervade the camp where so many lovers have found their paradise. From the woven tapestries that hang above the cosy beds and the plump cushions where guests rest their heads after a day of adventure to the touches of blue that lightly pepper the walking routes, the colours infiltrate the atmosphere like a whisper of hope.

The symbolism

Here, it is necessary to consider the symbolism of this colour, how it varies from culture to culture, and most importantly, its symbolism within African tradition.

While in Western cultures, the colour blue prompts visions of safety, trustworthiness and calm, this isn’t true worldwide. In Japan, blue represents purity and dignity. The colour connects to spirituality and immortality in many Eastern cultures. In Hinduism, the colour is related to Krishna, an embodiment of love and divine joy.

Coming closer to home, in many African cultures, it represents not only peace, as it might in the west, but also harmony and romantic love. It ties into the importance of togetherness, the love of a partner, and the bond between mother and child.

In Tanzania, in particular, the colour blue represents the warmth of the Indian Ocean and the rivers and lakes which bring life to the land. The waterholes where animals might come together to share a drink, the mighty rivers crossed in the Great Migration each year, and the lifegiving rain as it thunders down onto the dry lands. Refreshing, rejuvenating, revitalising.

The harmony

It’s these last three points to which we feel most connected. First, we have the immortality of the Serengeti, an ecosystem which has not just survived but thrived for time untold. The need to protect it, and the importance of its survival. Second, we have the unique romance of our beautiful camp. The sight of the sun rising slowly above the horizon as you watch through the tent windows. The al fresco dinners, as the birds swarm overhead. The hot cocoa you sip as you swap stories of the day’s adventures around the roaring heat of the campfire.

Finally, we have harmony. The key to our dream and the foundation of everything we work towards; the harmony we have found in the land we made home.

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In the distance, a lion roars. Chirping crickets fill the air with their musings, and the ancient melodies of the singing grass continue, as they have always done, and as they must continue to do fore


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