Dawn arrives slowly at Shumba Camp. First, just rich black silence. Then the first tentative bird calls, swelling louder. On the deck, where we sip tea, there’s the scent of dust and smoke and soil. The sky is becoming opalescent — flecks of shiny pinks and blues. We head out onto the Busanga Plains in a game-drive vehicle. Ahead of us are flashes of copper — puku scampering daintily over the stubby grass, kicking up dust as fine as puffs of smoke. Shadowy silhouettes of elephants haunt the distant, smudgy tree line. We are right in the heart of the vast Kafue National Park in Zambia. At 22,400km², it is bigger than Wales, and one of the last true wildernesses left on the African continent. The only sign of humans — aside from tyre tracks — are the very occasional wooden poles used by Nyanja fishermen. They return to trap fish here each rainy season, when the plains have been transformed into a shallow, endless lake. Right now, though, the earth is parched. We bump and bounce across...

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