you must have seen some amazing things with all your travels! I hope you’ve written them all down somewhere!
I had worked in Kenya so it was natural to get married there, we married on the beach and then went to Tsavo East nature reserve for our safari honeymoon.
We visited Voi hotel where once you got up for your breakfast you went for a swim looking out onto the reserve from the infinity pool, then down to the enclosure to feed the elephants and giraffe.
Then onto Taita hills which looked like a row of rockets that had been stood up in a row in the middle of the velt, they are two storey, two room roundels on top of 60ft columns joined together with walkways which then join onto the main hotel, you were woken up in the morning by the elephants rubbing themselves on the columny to get rid of ticks…
It is all set around a watering hole, the flat building has way mirrored windows so you can watch the animals, you get there via a tunnel.
Then we finished off by going to the Ziwani tented camp, set by the side of the watering hole they are individual tents built into wooden structures that you could lie in bed watching the stars at night, then a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro for dinner.
All the trips in-between locations were a safari, all in all a magical three weeks that we never wanted to end, now 26 years ago.
Wow Colin just amazing!
Although I’ve published a few academic papers on the problematic issues inherent to post-Apartheid game reserves, I’ve found it hard to ignore their magic. Perhaps one has to temporarily put history and contemporary social problems to one side and just live in the moment with the animals. However, some of my favourite game watching memories are of things I didn’t see, or barely caught a glimpse of.
We once spent three days in a state game reserve in northern KwaZulu Natal, where there lived a herd of around five hundred elephants. Didn’t see a single one, but it was good to know they were there in such numbers! Still have a couple of their turds as souvenirs.
I greatly value opportunities to venture beyond the rest camp fence and become a potentially vulnerable temporary intruder into the animals’ space. We once spent a whole day watching hippos in SE Swaziland, but all one saw were theireyes and nostrils above the surface of the lake. As dusk fell, the eyes and nostrils started moving towards the shore and we legged it back to the car. Driving back in the dark (against the rules) the headlights picked out two large pale white shapes that silently crossed the track and vanished into the thornbush - a ghostly pair of white rhino.
I’ve seen lots of rhino and once on a bushwalk stood about twenty metres from a family group with nothing between us, but a dirt track (the adults are virtually blind). Although it was unforgettably amazing and scary, it’s harder to recollect visceral sensations, whereas the fleeting glimpse of the ghostly rhinos is a strong visual memory.
I have seen a lot of the non tourist side of Africa living and working in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar 25-40 years ago, so in a way I have seen the best and the worst the countries have to offer.
I loved Kenya the most, South Africa the least but 40 year ago perhaps wasn’t the best time to be there.
My mum, in 1968, caught the last boat from Australia to England before it became cheaper to fly. Her and her equally young and glamourous friend took themselves to the first class bar as soon as they got on board (I think they were actually staying in 2nd or 3rd ) - they got away with that for at least 1/2 the journey as well educated, attractive young ladies! When it was clocked they were asked very kindly to stop coming there as they’d been spotted but they were apparently well missed! Her biggest regret of her life was that they had the option of getting off the boat in … uummm sorry my African geography is dodgy! The east side anyway - Cape town??? They had the option of travelling overland to rejoin the boat in Joburg’ she was worried about finding work in London so was too scared to spend the extra money (as it turned out she found work on her 2nd day so would have been fine!) and regrets it until this day as apparently the wildlife at that time was just beyond belief, around every turn and the last of the numbers as they had been.
I don’t think passenger liners ever berthed at Jo’burg, Tory… it’s a bit too far from the seaside.
I did also mention my SA geography is shite! So get off on the right hand side and safari to theleft hand side before rejoining boat I may have had Joburg’ in my head as the man shape lived and worked there for a year so that is the city I most often hear of!
Port Elizabeth? Durban?
Could have got off at Durban or Mombasa or Dar es Salaam or Laurenco Marques on the east side then rejoined in Capetown or Walvis Bay plus many other permutations.
That ring a bell!
That’s on the southern coast.
somewhere I have an old passport with row 57 deeply marked into the back as a reminder to always book these window seats with a gap next to them for LHR-SFO when I was going there a lot for work
My life in London when I was young was complete and with good friendships
which I cherished but like every one I had my best friends.
I had not seen one of these closest friends for years and begun search for her.
Her brother was in a band and that proved the best way to reach her as I did not know her married name
To my dismay I discovered that Paul had died in the Lockeby bombing. He was with his young bride leaving for their honeymoon.
There is an extension to the sad story of how he managed to find a place on the flight and this is something I can never forget.