Sankuyu

 
 

 

- The Lone Palm

- House in town, nadia shared with Joefie, tea and dinner and the evenings 

- Maun (market, aport office, tire shop, traffic, lunch etc) - Place of reeds

- Trips to Maun Maun w/ 20 people back

- the smell of sage in the evenings when the oppressing heat relented and the air cooled as we drove into the wind

- elephant hunts in the mopane scrub and forest, swirling wind, belly grumbles, long walks 

- Dinner at the mess tent

- lunch and tea in the bush

- mornings at the ironwood fire and tea

- the camp describe in detail and emotion (the thamalakane) 

- Ian, nadia, director, taylor, Sasa, Innocent, Boy and Daisy

- wild dogs killing impala on my verandah - hyenas eating it

- Kerosene lamps along the path

- Lion tracks in the morning over Ele tracks 

- The dense sand 

- cold drives back at night

- elephant cleanings 

- the changing of leaves in Austin

- Morning/evening drives through the dark mopane forest

* Use dialogue (ian and myself, trackers, nadia, etc)

(End of a moveable feast)

Home from Bots and the camps now gone and hunting closed and some of the people are dead but some are still there. 

 

In August, the leaves on the Mopane Trees would begin to change indicating the end of the dry season and the coming of the Spring Rains. In these days, elephants were seldom seen and the days became longer and hotter and you could feel the change in the air.

 

The camp was situated on a bank above a dry river bed on the southeastern edge of the Delta and and looked out across the donga to the opposite bank where a lone palm tree stood silhouetted against the sky above the line of Mopane trees. It was this lone palm that gave the camp it's Tswana name, Molkowane. The camp was spartan in it's accommodations and consisted of only four sleeping tents, a mess tent and kitchen. There was a round fire place in the sand, that sat below an Acacia tree and looked out over the river bed and the small water hole that remained from the rainy season, when the delta flooded and where wildlife would often congregate in the evenings when the camp was quiet. 

 

I can still remember the smell of sage in the evenings as we drove into the wind looking for elephant; the air now cool, a welcome relief from the blistering heat of the midday sun. 

 

I can remember the smell of sage in the evenings when the sun had lowered in the sky and the air had cooled and we drove into the wind, looking for elephants. 

 

Nearly ten years has passed since those early days and yet, there are times when I’m stopped dead in my tracks by some thought or feeling or a smell and I’m hit with a wave of sudden nostalgia for a time and a place that is long gone and long since changed. 

 

Smell of sage in the evening cool air, lunch under a sausage tree in the harsh light, lunch next to a water hole with elephants coming in, reading and tea after lunch, mornings around the fire, the camp, daisy, arriving at night to see Ian and headlamp under bonnet of the Land Rover. 

 

 

Sometimes I find myself sitting, with iamages of my time in Africa running through my mind. A seemingly insignificant moment, a look, a smell, a feeling brings back a sudden rush of nostalgia for Maun, the Delta, the scum brush of Maasailand and I find myself homesick for a time and a place that was a fleeting moment in my life, 

 

 

 

“If I know a song of Africa, - I thought, - of the Giraffe, and the African new moon lying on her back, of the ploughs in the fields, and the sweaty faces of the coffee-pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Would the air over the plain quiver with a colour that I had on, or the children invent a game in which my name was, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or would the eagles of Ngong look out for me?”

 

  • K.B. , Out of Africa

 

I’m well aware of the cliche involved in quoting the above work when referencing Africa, but Karen Blixen’s work has had a profound impact on my life and my outlook. I had read the book prior to first moving to Africa and of course recognized it for