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The nocturnal orchestra of Africa

The nocturnal orchestra of Africa

An African night is not as quiet as you would think. Although there are no alarms, human or traffic noises, the night is filled with the synchronised conversation of creatures that occupy the darkness.

Firstly, you can expect to hear the rich and consistent undertones of nocturnal insects. Your ear will easily become accustomed to the gentle, pulsating tones where each insect is its own instrument, be that chiming, ticking, zizzing or humming – to name but a few.

Add to the mix the sound of bats fluttering overhead, sometimes swooping in really close and audibly echo-locating. Nightjars call mysteriously from the wing, and insomniac doves coo softly.

Now and then the rhythm is punctuated by the roar of a lion, the grunting of a leopard or the giggle of a hyena. These are the sounds that give the piece its unique character.

No two performances are alike, but the conducter remains consistent. It is Mother Nature who co-ordinates the nocturnal creatures in a whole new world that wakens as we sleep.

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