We arrived in the small town of Springbok at eight pm after an arse numbing 800 km drive from our departure point in Hermanus on the southwestern coast of the Cape Province, via the often picturesque and occasionally not so picturesque towns of Worcester, Wolseley, Gouda, Porterville, Clanwilliam, Klawer, Vanrhynsdorp, Bitterfontein, Garies and Kammieskroon.
My dad and I had made the brave decision to endure each other’s company for eight to ten weeks, travelling, meandering and getting lost in four Southern African countries: Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Our main goals were to tolerate each other’s driving ability, cooking skills and sense of direction. Secondary goals would be to visit some of the most pristine wilderness areas in Africa, meet the locals and have a few adventures.
Our attitudes towards immigrants say more about ourselves and our national character than we probably realise. Rapidly increasing human migration is a reality of the modern global economy. Countries that figure out how to utilise the phenomenon to their advantage will be the economies of the future.
The western black rhino is no more according to headlines, tweets, shares and other modes of eco agony, invariably perpetrated by that most spineless of Moloch’s children, the hipster and its incestuous cousin, the yuppie. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the western black rhino, as much as everyone else who had never heard of its existence. I will however bet my last Oreo, that all those cyber tears were shed more in aid of social awareness brownie points than actual knowledge of, or love for the animal concerned.
Over the past few years there has been increased mention of an ‘African century’. Much of the renewed optimism for the continent has been based on Africa’s average growth rate of over 5% during the 2000s. Admittedly many African countries are experiencing accelerated growth from a low base, but there are other positive signs that may auger well for Africa’s future generations
The Designing Life team have started their one year Professional Field Guide Course presented by EcoTraining. Over the next 12 months they will be based at four camps located in the south-western and northern wilderness areas of the Kruger National Park, as well as the Thuli Block in Botswana. This is their first report after almost a month at Selati Game Reserve, a wildlife conservancy in the greater Kruger Park area.
ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE: If you ever want to experience the ‘real’ Africa, there is no place like Zambia. If you have dreamed about wilderness areas so remote that you do not see people for days, with only wildlife for company, Zambia takes all the accolades. The country boasts some of Africa’s finest and most remote national parks.
LAKE MALAWI: The art of ‘extreme chilling’, Dube the artist and Border detention. Our next destination was Monkey Bay, towards the southern end of the lake. This laid back little town is Malawi’s main port. Few tourists know about the small hidden beaches around Monkey Bay and usually head for the nearby delights of Cape Maclear. This suited us fine. We enjoy the less busy or off–the-beaten-track hideaways.