The world was once old. Somehow it seems newer today—that modernization has not been a development but rather a step backwards. If entropy is increasing, the progression from the natural world to the metropolitan must be an exception. Biologists, zoologists, anthropologists; they attempt categorization and orderly hierarchies, but chaos, in all its splendid beauty, is the only rule that defines nature. Explain the food chain to the centipede that crawls between the barren ribcage of a lion that stalked elephant days earlier. Contemplate human supremacy while you walk to your death in search of water, past innumerable beasts that have never known so much as a puddle. We may outlive the natural world as we know it today; we may bring it to its knees; but to visit the great remaining natural landscapes that persist today is to understand that we can never bring our rigid organization to all of this world, and that one way or another wildness will prevail.


The Serengeti—vast, flat, featureless— is a canvas on which nature was given free reign, and the greatest creative minds of our species could not have conjured up the result.


Photos from Serengeti, Ngoro-Ngoro, and Manyara National Parks.