The Search For Meaning In South Africa’s Kruger Park

Seeing a piece of land preserved from human intervention and exploitation is a gift. Growing up, living in a city and being grinded on daily makes us disconnected from our primal roots. I was one of a billion other professionals. My pretty nice perks were my golden cage. It was time to press pause.

City life leaves us with many unanswered questions and there is a sense of uneasiness when trying to grasp the quasi infinite complexity of the world we leave in. This article is about sharing with ROK readers the intellectual journey of a corporate professional seeking a meaning. It’s not a mid-life crisis, it’s a clarity one.

The urban grind, Joberg (Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA)

1. Virtue signaling is a mask

I believe it takes relentless commitment, intellect, and energy to understand and discover beneath all that camouflage the real intent of people and the cynical nature of our society. Because our brain is lazy and we will seek the most convincing pitch.

People who claim high morals, publicly show gratitude and generosity are lauded. In fact all they do is to exploit a behavioral hack to gain social status. This is also the case for deceptive altruists. On the other hand, in nature, there is none of that, at least not in the way it exists in an urban environment. In nature, we see camouflage for what it is, deceit.

2. African wildlife

Kruger Park is a South African natural park located north east of Johannesburg. In shape and area it is similar to Portugal. The land is relatively flat, the soil is rock hard but when scuffed by vehicle wheels it becomes a choking red dust. There are no fences between the park and the surrounding cultivated land other than natural frontiers like rivers or mountains.

The grassy landscapes and the mixed communities of trees, shrubs, and grasses can be subject to occasional wildfire. Several camps comprising of tents and bungalows are scattered across the park and there are gas stations within one hour drive from one another.

The cars are part of the landscape

Surprisingly, the game isn’t scared of cars and probably sees it as moving rocks. It is almost as it we were invisible. Getting out of the vehicle is prohibited and driving on the road is limited to 50 km/h. The game grew accustomed to cars and we are not perceived as a danger.

Impalas chilling by a pond while the elephant is taking a mud bath

The most frequent game that can be seen is the impala, a slender antelope similar to a gazelle in build. The male grows lyre-shaped horns while the female is hornless and smaller than the male. The enthusiastic guide explained the impalas are gregarious but the male can be territorial when it wants to hold territories where it may form harems of females.

The territories are demarcated with urine and faeces and defended against male intruders. When I wrote this, I paused for a minute only to let my mind suggest that this was akin to cockblocking.

Not much going on

It is fascinating to see zebras, impalas, wildebeests chewing grass and chilling next to one another. The impalas walk elegantly and slowly just the way a ballerina moves in a ballet. It eats the grass calmly. The impala cervical system will release adrenaline in the event of an immediate threat to temporally boost its response.

Stress in life should only be limited in time and adrenaline be released when faced with a life endangering situation as lasting stress can be devastating on someone’s psyche. It is my intuition that modern stress is a prime example of a maladaptive behavior that we inherited from our ancestors shaped by thousands years of evolution.

3. The disconnect meets the overarching truth

It is only natural that witnessing nature makes anyone question and draw parallels between our urban lifestyle and Kruger Park. After all, the urban lifestyle is just a more sophisticated version of the park where the intellect can be used to con and deceive people in order to gain a mating advantage.

Advertising, virtue signaling and marketing are just a smoke screen created to lure a lazy mind and are the ramifications and extensions of an urban environment where being a courtier offers more advantages than being a hunter.

The lion fears none

While the impalas, the wildebeests and the zebras are eating grass, something lurking in the dark throws gloom over the scene. The lion is the anti-social party pooper that preys upon the grass eaters. He is the one hiding in the Savannah ready to attack, he is the one who deceives.

Nature has a way of teaching animals and mankind in the most humble way, without being condescending or judgmental as most of us are. Its judgement is cold and heartless. Ego doesn’t exist in nature, only among humans.

I am currently reading a book by Avi Tuschman titled Our Political Nature — The Evolutionary Origins Of What Divides Us. The book explains the hidden roots of our most deeply held values and is a catalyst to understanding human nature and how passing on our genes that we share with our family and to a lesser extent with our tribe/community are ultimately at the core of our decisions.

It is understood that we live in a society that is goal oriented, multiple goals co-exist, for some it is to lead a hedonistic life or to live in accordance to the scripture and for others life is a quest to pursue riches, fame and power. But in nature there is only one ultimate reason to exist and that is to create a healthy legacy. In nature’s eye the rest is futile. So for that you can go to a sperm bank. Now that the matter has been taken care of, in our lives, it’s all about chasing fun, enjoying small pleasures, being independent, and cracking open a cold one with the boys.

Read More: 7 Reasons You Should Visit South Africa

49 thoughts on “The Search For Meaning In South Africa’s Kruger Park”

  1. Virtue signaling is a mask
    I believe it takes relentless commitment, intellect, and energy to understand and discover beneath all that camouflage the real intent of people and the cynical nature of our society. Because our brain is lazy and we will seek the most convincing pitch.
    People who claim high morals, publicly show gratitude and generosity are lauded. In fact all they do is to exploit a behavioral hack to gain social status. This is also the case for deceptive altruists. On the other hand, in nature, there is none of that, at least not in the way it exists in an urban environment. In nature, we see camouflage for what it is, deceit.

      1. It IS actually an interesting show just from a perspective of how Generation X (Johnny and Daniel) interacts with Generation Z (their students and their peers). Such as how disgusted Johnny is when he finds his 16-year-old student is completely unaware of bands like Guns N’ Roses etc.
        Millennials, or essentially anybody born in the last quarter of the 20th century for that matter, are entirely absent from the show, which is an interesting plot point.

        1. TIMMAH
          Johnny and Daniel were both born in 1967 because they were both high school seniors in the Fall 1984-though the film was actually shot in 1983 and Zabka was the only one about the age of his character.
          This makes them quintessential Gen X but Guns and Roses was a late 80’s phenomenon as Sweet Child O’ Mine did not not hit the Top 100 until 1989…Daniel and Johnny are more Banarama and synth pop and Michael Jackson parachute pants than Bandannas and Acid Wash.
          Ethnically, most of the viewers will not remember when the service sector/blue collar was Italian/Asian (Miyagi, Mrs. LaRusso) and the WASPS were the middle-to-upper middle class though the show reflects this with Italians and Asians now firmly middle-class and the Anglo-Saxons are gone from the Valley-Ali, Dutch and the rest of them-save for the odd deadbeat like Johnny himself.

        2. TIMMAH
          The 2 Gen X’s
          Johnny and Daniel were both born in 1967 (Seniors in the Fall of 1984).
          This makes them the same age as Curt Kobain but they are not really the Gen X you would associate with the grunge era, and alternative and Ethan Hawke sitting around with a greasy goatee. That is Gen X born in from 1970 onward.
          Daniel and Johnny were just young enough to come of age in the Go-Go 80’s.
          They would have been about 20 years old when Guns and Roses came out but in reality, as the first film so obviously underscores, they are the electropop synth generation of Bananarama.

      2. COBRA KAI Review
        It is actually quite a sad and a bit downbeat in my opinion.
        Dutch and Ali and the rest are all long gone and in fact the upper-class WASPS are being replaced by Asians and the Mexicans have replaced the Italians as blue-collar service sector.
        But Johnny and Daniel are still at it. Arguing about some cooze from high school who has not thought of them since 1985 and looking at her Facebook page.
        It also says something interesting about the high school Alpha-he’s the guy who reaches his peak in life at age 17. Actually, by the time we see Johnny on the beach the night before his senior high school year the doors are already closing…he’s a budding alcoholic and pothead and small-time felon on his way to where we knew he’d end up…a middle-aged beer-drunk with nothing to do driving around in his rusty old fucking Pontiac.
        As for Daniel, well, he’s now that pudgy Italian uncle with all his slim Mediterranean pretty-boy looks buried beneath gallons of wine and piles of pasta but the braggadocio that got his ass kicked is all there.
        Oddly enough, so is the Italian street-guy underhandedness-the sucker punch to the mouth of a guy who was facing the first big heartbreak of his teen life…the unprovoked aggression like the Halloween prank…the ground and pound of Johnny’s weaker friend Bobby that would have been a serious beating if the coach had not pulled Daniel off in practice…the verbal taunts…
        He claims to have found some Eastern philosophical insights through Miyagi but in fact he seems to be the same swaggering oily Italian asshole hothead we met in Newark in 83.
        Depressingly, perhaps the show points out that people can never really be much more than they always were.

        1. Great review I think you captured perfectly the spirit of the show. It was downright depressing (me thinks) particularly for people of our generation: basically, albeit as you pointed out they’re of the older x-gen cohort.
          Basically it was about 2 complete losers, who have more in common than they care to admit. Despite my ethnic make-up to be honest I could have turned out easily a Johnny type, if it wasn’t for some sense of responsibility and a decent talent with numbers.
          I grew up kinda privileged and I spent years acting like a scrappy ill tempered obnoxious, moronic asshole in my youth. How many Johnnies you can find among our ranks ? A lot I believe, in Italy we call this kind of people men with a great future behind their shoulders.
          I found also interesting that the truly obnoxious, arrogant, unredeemable, unrelatable, i-would-gladly-shoot-a-bullet-in-your-face character is a Korean kid.
          It’s customary in the US to think of Asians as autistic, mild harmless dorks. It is I believe also a way for American Whites to reassure themselves about their status in the world.
          They don’t really know how common douchy, arrogant, rude bully pricks are among the ranks of North East Asian youth.

        2. AJ
          There was a Sicilian underhandedness to La Russo.
          He sucker punched one kid and beat up Johnnie’s sad bitch of a hanger-one Bobby whom Johnny bullies when nobody else is around to bully (I think Bobby was the saddest kid of the bunch).
          He had a vendetta mentality-the beef was over when he went over the side of the hill and instead of getting in another fight on Halloween night he could have lost his virginity in the shower costume (By then it is clear that Johnny is over Ali).
          Daniel had suffered a personal tragedy in Newark with the loss of family member and was already brimming with anger when he moved to LA.
          As for Johnny, he is a typical middle-aged loser who does not really realize when he went wrong.
          By the time we met Johnny at 17 he was far into booze, pot and small-time crimes. The doors had closed on him even when he showed up at the beach party.
          But what is so, so sad is how guys obsess over some girl who has not given either one of them a thought in 30 years.
          Even Johnny’s sniveling minions were gone.
          Yet these two sad thirsty bastards are looking over the picture of Ali on Facebook.

        3. AJ
          Johnny and Daniel had a rough start to life, let us face it.
          Johnny was abused by a stepfather and Daniel was brimming with anger at the loss of his own father at a young age and being uprooted to a new place.
          Johnny may have grown up in privilege but it was clear that the day he turned 18 he was on his own.
          1) Daniel La Russo is Sicilian-American (Eastern Sicily is where Newark Italians trace their roots). He is a Saracen and most of their traits are attributable to Arab custom and blood. Though in real life Macchio is Greek.
          2) Secondly, Johnny was abused by his stepfather. We kind of sensed this from the moment we met him in KARATE KID-his character had been formed long, long before he met the karate instructor.
          3) Italian-Americans are no longer a poor subgroup like they were in 1984. Neither are Asians. That is one point the show makes clear-La Russo is no longer a mechanic. He OWNS the dealership. The Asian kid is no longer the son of the handyman, the WASP is the handyman.

        4. AJ
          Reversal of circumstance
          Johnny would have gotten HIS ASS KICKED if he had been the one to move into Daniel’s Sicilian-American neighborhood.
          Had their situations been reversed and Johnny moved into the Sicilian quarter of New Jersey and had started being arrogant to Daniel do you think HE WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN HIS ASS KICKED?
          To be honest, even if Johnny had minded his manners in Newark they STILL would have kicked his ass simply because he looks different (Zabka is the son of Czech immigrants in real life).

  2. You talk about the animals but not one picture of one of the monkeys. They’ve become quite a problem over there, or so I’ve heard, overtaking farms owned by white people and raping and killing them.

    1. It would have been a meaningful article but some stupid commenters ruin it.
      Have you actually been to South Africa?
      No, you have never been more than 20 miles away from your recessed flyover town…isn’t that right, hillbilly boy?

      1. Woah, is you one of them psychic fellows or somethang? We don’t like your type round here with your witchcraft and satanisms.

      2. PETER
        Actually ASDASDA could be a South African white himself (Though Australia-raised) and is definitely not an American.
        He is clearly a nutcase and possibly schizotypal.

      3. PETER
        Your name is Dutch or German so I make you for a Boer which means you should be able to tell that Asdasda may himself be a South African transplant to Australia or simply an Australian period.
        He’s clearly not American.
        In any event, he is mental and vaguely delusional as he has talked about men getting pregnant from swallowing semen and other ghastly homosexual fantasies.
        He is a sick homosexual Australian or possibly Dutch South African migrant to Australia.
        Just don’t respond to him.

      4. PETER
        He MAY BE South African based upon his references to migrating to Australia (From somewhere) and currently living in England.
        He’s not an American. To begin with, although mentally ill, his writing is not full of the typos and stilted halting grammatical mistakes of the US hick.

      5. Mr. Frazier
        ASDASDA is a sick man. He has posted about men getting pregnant from swallowing semen and other sickening fantasies from the depths of homosexual dementia.
        He is clearly mentally ill and I think he has schizophrenia.
        However, he is not American. His occasional references indicate an Australian or White South African background.

        1. LOL, @Mad4Men, you really don’t understand the art of trolling do you, honey? You can’t just make up a quote out of thin air, you need to reconstruct what I’ve written and twist it for your story to have any sense of credibility.
          And does anyone else find it interesting that Mad4Men kept writing over and over about swallowing semen. Makes one wonder why he’s suddenly talking about it now, and not before. Makes one even wonder what Mad4Men might have drank recently. Living in Asia, as I do, I’ve seen some dodgy shit going on between middle aged and older white men and the Asian twinks.

        2. THAT ^^^^ is how you do it. You’ll get it some day. Till then, go fuck your “Asian wife.” LOL.

        3. ASDASDA
          You’re clearly not American as Peter referred to you as a “hillbilly”.
          You may not even be white, there is a strong chance that despite UK citizenship you are of Asian origin-Indian, Chinese Singaporean (But not mainland Chinese).
          I’m right about that.

      1. thats great hunting. the elephant killing was inappropriate imo. but gathering 10 000 people to hunt is impressive.

        1. The elephant scene takes the cake. I detest hunting, especially when it’s done in such a sadistic manner. Only a sicko would find it enjoyable to watch imo. Even in a slaughterhouse, unless it’s a Kosher or a Halal one- a pox on both their houses, the animals are knocked out unconscious with a pneumatic gun before they’re killed, that may be just for practical reasons and to speed up the process, nevertheless they benefit from the white man’s ingenuity. But if you’re a degenerate, and into it, the original, three hour, Italian version of this documentary contains a much longer hunting sequence, where you have feral blacks bringing down lots of buffalo and hippos too, and you can watch them dissecting the carcasses for meat too.
          The part of the film I enjoy the most, although it would be a lot more fun to watch had they gotten spears instead of the bullets, is here:

    2. asdasda
      “Men getting pregnant”
      “Monkeys taking over farms and killing the owners”
      This science fiction indicates that you are a paranoid delusional schizophrenic South African immigrant to UK or Australia who is not mentally all there.
      There have been some isolated baboon attacks.
      You’re not playing with a full deck. I suspect that you are telling the truth about not being Indian and that you yourself are a South African white whose family experienced some trauma in the Mandela era that has left you with toys in the attic.

      1. Lol, I just realised where you misunderstood, thinking I was talking about drinking semen, even though no such thing was ever said. Hmmmm.
        Anyway, I was talking about the FACT that Neil Patrick Harris and his Husband have two children (in response to your comment that homos can’t reproduce), and also the FACT that scientists have successfully grown a baby inside a man, inside his stomach or small intestine or something.
        I only JUST realised how gay you really are. I don’t think many people on earth would have read that comment and assumed I was talking about gay men getting pregnant from drinking semen. But YOU did. Wow. Fuck you are gay! LOL.

        1. asdasda
          I know you are an Asian autistic that jerks off to Popular Science but a baby would tear a man’s anus apart.
          Harris simply shoved his jizz in a surrogate like men have been doing for thousands of years who cannot penetrate a woman.

        2. Make your mind up, you’ve claimed I’m:
          a gay, male indian,
          a female indian,
          South African,
          And now just “Asian.”

    3. asdasda
      You’re not playing with a full deck and now I understand why you are a white man in your early 30’s who is marginally employed and living at home.
      You are crazed.
      Possibly you are white South African yourself and moved to Australia with your parents.

      1. i dont know asdasda but he made a joke which i found quite funny and well played. i like black humor and i did nazi that comming.

        1. Cheers bruv. Don’t mind Mad4Men, he only just found he is gay and is going through a little crisis. It’s cute.

    4. LMAOOOOOOOO at first i thought why is he crying about the lack of monkey pictures……………

    5. You’re not helping by calling other people monkeys. The black-on-white genocide is however true and the mainstream media is silent about it.

      1. The only way to help is to re-apply apartheit (however you spell it), if you’ve seen the docs on South Africa it’s impossible to be blaming the whites. Those black fucking cunts ruining the country (politicians and general public) need to hang. They’re not only ruining things for the whites, but also the blacks.

  3. I like the article. Action always tells the truth. And to see the animals when they relax or when they run for their lives is real as it gets.
    Where I live, there is a baby rabbit outside the door. He’s been here for about two weeks. In the beginning, he would run when I step outside. Now, just like ten minutes ago, he looks at me, maybe takes a couple hops away from me, and keeps eating the clover in my yard. He finally sees I am no threat to him. A little like the animals in Kruger who are comfortable with the cars passing thru.
    Breath of fresh air at ROK. Thanks.

    1. Great comment Edward.
      No sarcasm, no ego, no hatred, no grudge, no complex and not deviating with unnecessary & irrelevant topics/issues; only your thoughts & observations, expressed in a simple, elegant, natural & purest form…
      You once again proved that I am not wrong in my selection of Seniors & Buddies (whom I admire, listen, agree, disagree & learn from) here at ROK.

      1. Ravi Macho
        How are you old friend?
        I really like this article. It is a journey to a place I have not seen. But I have a better mental picture what it looks like. What it is like to visit. The writer did an excellent job. And it enhances the overall message at ROK.
        A man should enjoy nature when possible, as much as possible.
        And the Impalas indifference to the automobiles passing thru reminds me of the baby rabbit’s indifference to me now.
        It is good.

        1. GOD’s grace, I am fine Edward. Indeed, these kind of Articles will definitely enhance ROK platform and also help to make a point that life (and ROK!) is not “all about getting laid”.
          The ROK + Informative Articles + Sharing of experiences, the good & bad + Brotherhood + The feeling of “real MEN are getting UNITED” is something that is very much needed.
          Please do convey my greetings to that little bunny!

        2. RAVI
          But you are a kid, right. I mean you have not even graduated from high school yet, no?

        1. Why do you make yourself an “easy” target! Do you think I can’t give a “equal and opposite” reply !? I respect the presence of the likes of Edward, so all I can say to you is; good evening !!

  4. It seems you guys can’t take a joke? You guys are the one’s sounding like butt buddies so check your own breath for semen. Edward your’s has a curry flavour, right?

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