African Safari stories

Sundowner

Sundowner

The Australian ‘Sundowner,’ (tramp) arrives at sundown. In return for a nights sleep on the veranda, and a meal, he might do some work. In East Africa work stopped at sundown – same time throughout the year near the Equator. During the brief twilight you joined neighbours or new friends, feet up on the veranda […]

The Donkey’s Revenge

The Donkey’s Revenge

G.K. Chesterton describes the donkey thus: “With monstrous head and sickening cry And ears like errant wings, The devils walking parody On all four footed things.” We misuse his name to despise our less popular public figures. Least fortunate are those of his kind disgracefully ill treated in places beyond the protection of the RSPCA. […]

A good read

A good read

From my Tanganyika Diary September 1955 on the road. There was always a risk on arriving unbooked, to find ‘No Room At The Inn’ (thinking of: “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room at the inn.’ Luke 2:7) Unfortunately the reasons for my travels rarely […]

A sting in the tail

A sting in the tail

From my Tanganyika diary, Friday December 15th, 1961: During ‘The Rains’ nastier bugs move indoors. My survival kit for the next safari included bottles of drinking water, fitting into a compartmented box, straw lined to prevent rattling. Our first survival rule read NEVER PUT YOUR HAND INTO A HOLE. I forgot it, and knew what […]

A Dog’s Life

A Dog’s Life

JOE’S JOURNAL From my Tanganyika diaries, 1960. It’s Friday night in a small town, the provincial (county) capital. The only hotel bar and lounge is crowded with locals and regulars home from the weeks work, out in the ‘bundu’ (bush), or ‘on line’ (railway). Here is the Central African crossroads: east – west railway interchanging […]

Processionary caterpillars

Processionary caterpillars

JOE’S JOURNAL From my Tanganyika diaries, 1960. This day’s drive had been interesting and easy, through the ‘Southern Highlands’ of Tanganyika, at a high altitude during a cooler time of the year. Even so, the lounge armchair soon had me in dreamland. A clink of china and a whispered “TEA SAH” returned me to this […]

Fire in the night

Fire in the night

Tanganyika, two days on the road, 500 miles more on the clock, frequently below top gear. The roads were in fact just dirt tracks and all for just two hours work at a remote site. Windscreen, sunglasses and throat full of dust and the sun now lowering into my eyes, but three hours more should […]