Abu turned out to be a wonderful camp. Famed for being an elephant sanctuary, it provides the opportunity to ride or walk with the small herd of trained elephants (which is a fantastic experience). Having done both I can report that I much prefer the walking rather than the being swayed around indiscriminately and as long as you make sure you aren’t stepped on relatively safe…
Trouble in paradise
I didn’t put 2 and 2 together.
It was only the next morning when we joined our guide and went to get into our Land Rover. There was a German couple already sitting in the front seat – it looked like they had camped there all night (I’m surprised they didn’t use the normal German trick of putting down towels on the seats – sorry for the racial stereotyping, I know some wonderful Germans but these were not of that ilk*). Our guide introduced us and the woman looked us up and down and then put her nose in the air as if a bad smell has assaulted her very being. He wasn’t much better…. As we drove off, the warm breeze turned icy cold as it ran over our two new friends, leaving us chilled to the very bone….
* It must have been a bad batch of Germans** on the trip because their was another group staying at Abu who moaned about the tribal singing that greets you when you first arrive at a camp. unbelievable, what is not to love about beautiful harmony singing from happy people proud of share their heritage.
** More often than not it is my fellow Brits abroad who are the ones best avoided - specifically the heavy drinking loud mouthed louts that we often seem to export. I guess it helps to keeps our country nicer for tourists....
On meeting famous peopleAs we came into the camp we heard rumours that there were some famous people staying. These turned out to be -
If you thought keeping up with the Joneses was hard enough, forget it keeping up with the famous is in a different league altogether -Sue and Judith were discussing Sting one evening, I was about to interject that Sting was the first person I had seen in concert, back in 1989 at the Rainbow Islington when he was touring the Reggatta de Blanc album with the Police. I’m glad I didn’t, their remembrances were a little bit more personal, being from the dressing room side of things rather than the clouded judgement of a 14 year old boy in the 25th Row…
The final curtainWe ended up with a different guide on our last morning as the Germans (I wouldn’t mind but I hadn’t mentioned the war, towels on sun beds or even the 1966 World Cup Final) had complained about having to share with anyone. Not that they were willing to pay out for a private tour…. It was just as well because their flight out of Abu camp was an hour before ours which would have curtailed our tour.
As we made our way down the aisle, who should we find sitting in the front seats….? Only our favourite Germans. Their flight must have been turned back to pick us up …which must have delighted them…. You will not be surprised to learn that they did not acknowledge us as we sat in the seats directly behind them. I waited until we landed at Maun airport before I poked my head through the seats in front and with a big beaming smile and as cheery a voice as I could muster and proclaimed :
Deja vu (Part 1)
As a bonus to lift our spirits as we tramped sadly through Jo’berg airport on our way home … Who should materialise through the travelling throng but Julie and Gil (from the Kings Pool camp). It was so refreshing after the Sour Krauts and wonderful to have the opportunity to catch up on each other’s Safari stories since we had said goodbye just a few short days before. Somehow it felt more like a lifetime….
Deja vu (Part 2)
Mrs B and I are heading off to Finland for Christmas in search of the Northern Lights - so wish us luck.
|Mrs B reflecting on the perfect holiday|
or would have been if the Bosch air conditioning units
hadn't shown up to cool proceedings ....
|The view from our bed, I'm surprised we ever managed to get up....|
|Mr Burns - "Smithers bring me a new |
Elephant this ones almost full..."
|Like something from another age....|
|I can highly recommend a restorative bath |
if you are feeling under the weather...
But check for Hippos before you get in, they don't
like to share the water and have a tendency to
pee when confronted....
|Nate - trying to work up a health tonic without alcohol|
I suspect not an easy task for a south African...
|Our new German friend - |
She was like a cross between Truly Scrumptious
and the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang....
While he was like Pierce Brosnan only this time
playing a Bond villain rather than 007.
|Beautiful harmonies and dancing - what's not|
to love unless you enjoy the miseries of life....
Really please with this shot which was taken
without flash - just the light of a camp fire
|Claire - another member of the excellent Abu staff...|
|And so our tale comes to an end |
although this look more like
two tails and a double end...