When I left Specsavers in 2000 the lovely team I worked with gave me a perfect farewell gift: A book by Chris and Tilde Stuart: ‘Africa’s Great Wild Places.’ Right up my alley. If the Stuarts think these places are special you can bet they are. They have been all over Africa and they don’t flit in and out; when they go somewhere, they stay a while!
I had been to seven of the fifteen places they chose for the book and immediately set about getting to the eighth:
Luangwa in Zambia
Okavango in Botswana
We had this book at home growing up and I loved it. It describes the Okavango in 1958; Moremi and Chobe weren’t parks yet, but the story about two crazy loons driving a great lumbering gas-guzzling, wartime D.U.K.W amphibious monstrosity led to a fascination and – years later – many trips there starting in 1985. The latest trip was in March 2018. While there I read her new book Starlings Laughing, under her new name June Vendall Clark. I’m pleased to report that exactly fifty years later the Okavango is still the amazing paradise June Kay loved so much.
The Kalahari – Gemsbok Park in SA and Makgadikgadi Pans Botswana
1969 school tour and 1996 with Aitch; In 2010 with Janet we saw the Green Kalahari!
Etosha in Namibia
Hwange in Zimbabwe
Probably my favourite. In 1997 we went to Makalolo and in 2010 to Somalisa
This was one area I thought it unlikely we’d get to visit. Then Mike Lello got to go! His son Chris worked in wildlife safaris in Tanzania and arranged a fly-in trip. And lately, wonderful news: My bro-in-law Jeff and nephew Robbie have bought a farm near Iringa. I may not get all the way west, but I’d love to go to the Selous and Ruaha National Park! Time will tell!
More to see:
Uganda, the Serengeti, the Soda Lakes, the Great Selous
Showering one-year-old Tom in my arms in the ablutions at FlatDogs camp in Zambia I must have squeezed him a bit too hard, as he shot out of my arms like a slippery bar of soap and landed flat on his back on the shower floor!
Waaah! he squawked when he got his breath back after a deadly-silent second! What’s wrong? call Aitch and Jessie from the ladies section next door (separated from us by a thin reed wall). YIKES!! I picked him up hurriedly and spent the next few hours watching him intently. He was fine, thank goodness! a sueto continua! (the holiday continues!)