South Africa as a whole has always scared me. It’s never been on my immediate list of places to visit, in fact, it’s not on there at all.
Perhaps it’s the ongoing political difficulty that gravitates there, or it’s that heated question of safety that’s stopped me pining for this visit; we’re not just talking about taking good old common sense to this country. This is somewhat out of my league, and I’ve been to Brazil!
South Africa invites a certain kind of adventurer and it usually begins with something like ‘are you an animal lover?’ then safaris and sleeping in open cabins while panthers crawl around you is perfect. A minor issue – animals (pigeons, in fact) make me jumpy. But would I go to the Galapagos Islands? Yes, tomorrow, let’s go! There’s a difference. The animals are faster in South Africa… right?
The other incentive is to do some voluntary work, to connect with human nature again. Like building new schools or really getting into photography to capture the eyes of humanity. Well, there’s a school down my road that could do with some renovating – go volunteer there, it’ll save you a couple of grand - hmmm, not the same, not even close. For a start the weather sucks here and the worst thing you’ll come across is a pikey.
So what could convince me to get rid of these excuses? I give you author Lawrence Anthony and his novel The Elephant Whisperer detailing his game reserve Thula Thula, say it again its lovely: Thula Thula.
So what’s it all about?
Lawrence bought a game reserve in Zululand, South Africa, only to be given a herd of wild, restless elephants to contend with. The challenges he meets with these weighty beasts is so exciting and makes for a rather toe-curling read. You fall totally in love with these elephants. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I know from a sneaky peek at the middle section of photos that the reserve offers safari tours…and the website to the gorgeous reserve is here: http://www.thulathula.com/index.aspx
I’d like to go visit the reserve and these magnificent, terrifying creatures who now have names and personalities.
A South African writer and a herd of mad elephants, that’s all I needed. Fancy joining me?