Africa

Boom

The room was still. A break in the curtains confirmed the sun wasn’t up yet. But I was. It was as if a switch had been thrown. One minute I was asleep, the next, eyes open searching the dark. I listened for strange sounds, murmurs in the hallway. Nothing. Our hotel sat a short distance from Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe. We’d arrived from Botswana the day before. A short stop over on our way to Namibia. I’d already seen elephants, chatted up tour guides and the guys who let us in and out of ...

F*cking Gary

Gary. From the Old English, meaning spear of battle. I didn’t know that when we picked it. The name just, fit.  He was standing a hundred feet off and scanning the horizon. He’d come in search of water. A daily pilgrimage to one of a handful of spots where it either bubbles up from the ground or arrives via man-made plumbing, a necessity during the dry season. It seems straightforward enough, but for the African artiodactyl, the only species characterized by a long neck, stubby antlers and ...

Hell or High Water

The sound was deafening. The whitest of noise. I was at it’s mercy, unable to touch the bottom. A strong current clawed at my legs, pulling me as I kicked and spiralled my arms. Nothing slowed the motion. I could see the place where the water fell away, mist beyond obscuring the chasm.

Out of Africa

Imagine this. You’ve just spent five days driving through deep sand and dry grass in search of elephants. Scratch that. In Botswana, you’ll find them around every bend in the road. The country is home to more than 130,000. So, you’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands, and as you make your way by car to the next destination, the driver says…’an elephant has been killed in a nearby village, do you want to go see?’ I didn’t.  The elephant in question had become a nuisance, rampaging through ...