Old Man’s SWA Memories

The ole man’s first visit to South West Africa was by train in 1939. The trip cost six pounds return. His father being a railway man, he probably got a good family-rate deal. He would have ‘entrained’ here. where Oupa worked: . . crossed all of South Africa to Upington, then passed through Keetmanshoop, Rehoboth […]

A Bird Book in Brasil

When Aitch said ‘Come with me to Brasil’ in 1988 I shouted ‘Hell, yes!’ over my shoulder as I rushed off to a bookstore to buy a book on the birds of Brasil. There wasn’t one. I asked everywhere and searched everywhere, but no luck. Then I asked Hardy Wilson, who reached up to one […]

Brasil in 1988

Aitch took me to Brasil. She had done well as usual in her sales for Scherag and so off we went. First a flight to Manaus in Amazonas province, then a long drive eastward along the Amazon River towards a lake just off the river, then by ferry to a pousada on Silves Island. We […]

Labour of Love – Aitch

My bird list book made by Aitch back in 1985, soon after we met. Every bird from Roberts handwritten – and done on the quiet so I only got to see the end result for my first xmas present from her! After that we birded in other countries in Africa. Also in the USA, Brasil, […]

Mkhuze Peach needs a Balaclava

Later we go on a night game drive in an open vehicle with Patrick, ‘our’ Mkhuze Ezemvelo Ranger. The three of us and a family of four from Durban. On the drive I realise that of the eight people on the vehicle I am the only one reflecting an excessive amount of moonlight from my […]

I Don’t Read Science Fiction . . .

Aitch did. She introduced me to Douglas Adams’ five Hitchhikers Guide books. For years I just looked at them on our library shelf, stuck in my natural history and science rut. Of course we’ve all read about them and seen many quotes from them, like these: “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has […]

Xudum in Okavango

Another trip to the Delta! Aitch and I flew from Maun to Xudum in 2001 when Janet & Duncan were running the show for Landela Safaris. We landed on the nearby bush strip.   After a few days in camp they had business in Maun and we accompanied them on the drive out of the […]

Oddballs Palm Island Luxury Lodge

Getting into the Okavango Delta can be awfully expensive. A cheaper way is to fly in to Oddballs Palm Island Luxury Lodge, get on a mokoro and disappear off into the wild with a guide who knows where he’s going and what he’s doing. In 1993 Aitch and I did just that, spending a night […]

Cape Vidal Camping

So I took these – . . to here – and when they saw these harmless creatures – they squealed and ran out of the campsite shouting “I’m taking an uber home!” We saw kudu, nyala, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, mongoose, zebra, warthog and hyena. Sindi pipes up on a drive: “There are no animals here!” […]

Ken Gillings’ Hysterical Tours

Dear old Ken died too soon. His tours were hugely educational – and such fun. You had to listen carefully or you’d miss his wicked Sergeant-Major little asides and throw-away comments. We should have recorded them all. Well, here’s one, anyway. We walked the Fugitive’s Trail from Isandlwana to Fugitive’s Drift. Ken arranged for a […]

Long Lost Letter

Donald Coleman was my good mate and older side-kick in Harrismith up to around 1964. He died in a car crash (alone in the car) around 1975 (I have no detail of what exactly happened). In around 2011 or 2012 I found a letter on the floor of my garage at 10 Elston Place. It […]