Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Beasties and Noo-noos

I’m planning a writing assignment in Chobe National Park, in Botswana. I should be excited, but instead I’m terrified. Chobe is one of Africa’s great wildernesses, teeming with animals, many of which prey on humans.

Ostrich Hairy Eyeball
I’m terrified of wild beasties. The Big Five may look cute while leafing through National Geographic - but up close and personal they’re SCARY. My aversion hasn’t been helped by being snapped at by crocodiles, charged by elephants, chased (on foot) by rhino, lunged at by hippos, and been given the hairy eyeball by ostriches. If anything larger than a cane rat approaches the car I bolt like Seabiscuit.

Rhino Can-opener
Unlike many blithe tourists, I’ve seen what a rhino can do to a two-ton Landrover. I’ve also watched someone get stung by a waddling scorpion as fat as my ex’s arse.

Whiskey and Ketamine
I’m hoping the Chobe staff can supply an Abrams tank for game viewing, or a telescope so I can witness nature from the safety the bar terrace. Failing that, I plan to blot out the terror with massive amounts of Jameson whiskey and horse tranquilizers.

Miranda, Tam, any suggestions?


tam said...

You have the right idea. Years of growing up in safari camps has taught me that the bar is the best, safest place to be.

I was trained from very young that 'if you should go to the woods today..' and encounter a lion, you absolutely must not run. Keep dead still and back off slowly, slowly. It goes against every single instinct and blood urge in the body. Sod it, just run. I'm probably more wary in the bush than many old bush hands - especially of elephants. And sure, a charging rhino is no small matter to deal with.
Still, you're probably safer in the bush than in suburban Joburg, so enjoy it.
Oh and remember that the most dangerous creature in Africa (apart from people of course) is the mosquito. So take your tabard and don't get bites.

Janelle said...

well personally i would definitely go for the scotch and horse tranquilizer. just sounds much more fun. oh and apply tabard beforehand...which will also make you taste nasty. xx j

Miranda said...

Yes, the bar is a good place to be. And swearing very loudly at threatening teeth-baring creatures works wonders too (not for the mozzies tho). If they're coming at you that is, not if they're lying peacefully under a bush...that may defeat the object somewhat...
Have fun

meloncholick said...

You obviously need a big fucking gun. Not to shoot the poor animals of course (they only kill human's out of sheer boredom - I often have the same desire), but you may need to take care of that bastard black dog that loves to hide at the bottom of all good whiskeys.

fush and chips said...

Good point. Am racing off to found a new single malt called "Black Dog". It'll scoop the gun-toting depressives market.

Reya Mellicker said...

OK. I love the post, but the comments? Priceless!

I never knew the bar was the best place to be on safari ... it's good to be in the know.

I have been thinking (and even dreaming) about Africa, plotting and planning and wondering how I can come see it with my own eyes, meet my blog friends, etc.

Truth is, I'm even afraid of horses. They're so BIG. I guess I'd better remember how to drink Irish whiskey, hunker down with Black Dog malt ... or ... ???

Tessa said...

Tim - just hurry up and write a big, long, juicy book. I can't wait.