Goodbye tears.

African Safari – Part Ten

“A life without stories would be no life at all. And stories bound us, did they not, one to another, the living to the dead, people to animals, people to the land?” ― In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Alexander McCall Smith.


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This tall blond shed no tears.


“Dumela, Mma, dumela, Rra,” Cook Pauline said when Peter and I arrived for breakfast.

“Dumela, Pauline,” we replied.

It was the morning after a very memorable night before, and we seven — Marilyn and Peter B, Charleen and Arden, Bruce, Peter and me, plus Guide Russell and side-kick Kate — again had our tea, porridge, and toast on the edge of the river.  A tiny campfire warmed and cheered us on this, our final morning in Linyati Camp.  That we’d had uninvited dinner guests the previous night was evident.  The marshy area just beyond the dining tent was trampled into a gloppy green stew by the elephants.


xWe’d had ringside seats at a water circus.


As we prepared to leave camp, Pauline enveloped we three women in warm hugs, while her helper stood back smiling.  Camp director Max and aide Jinx nodded goodbye solemnly.  I hoped that the gratuties each of us left would help Max buy another cow for his fiance’s dowery, so they could marry and live happily ever after at Linyati.

We were teary-eyed as we waved goodbye.  Next stop, Jacana Camp, Okavango Delta. Would Magic follow us there? 

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A menacing sandstorm barreled across the runway as we sheltered under scrubby trees waiting for the little airplane. Zebras milled nervously, but scattered at the plane’s approach. The pilot couldn’t see through the dust, but he buzzed by and circled several times to scare any elephants out of his way.


When we took off from that BandAid-sized airstrip I knew that whatever else our safari held, I would never forget those three days.

As Precious Ramwotse mused in Alexander McCall Smith’s Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency, “We don’t forget…. Our heads may be small, but they are as full of memories as the sky may sometimes be full of swarming bees, thousands and thousands of memories, of smells, of places, of little things that happened to us and which came back, unexpectedly, to remind us who we are.”

There’ll be more stories from Botswana, but for now, tsamaya sentle.

Photos courtesy of, P. Blitz

7 thoughts on “Goodbye tears.

  1. Yes, the continuation of your Safari experiences will be greatly anticipated! I’m feeling like I went along with you; your descriptions put one right there, even better than the pictures! cj


  2. Pingback: Cue the elephants. ¶ Wherever you go, there you are.

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