Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Only one laugh every four years...

or a laugh a minute. Well let's face it, I remembered to post something didn't I.

For all you 'non geeks', this is my little tip for the day.

For a full page display, you may need to set the resolution down a bit to stream faster.
1. Start play.
2. Still play.
3. The lower bar changes to display a round cog.
4. Press on this round cog [on the lower bar] for the settings that suite your PC's download speed.
5. 'Voila'!

Next time, we'll be back to the mountains.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Deep in the Mountains, the freezing winter night swiftly closing in, huge trees looming overhead, obscuring the last pale rays of the dying sun…We have been driving up and down mountains, on potholed logging tracks, turned to marsh by puddles of rainwater and snow melt (yes, this is Africa). But the last logging truck had passed us over an hour ago, packed with tired workers obviously headed home.

Snow Dusts Cape Mountains
Communication proved difficult when we discovered that our mobile phones would only work at certain elevations and in the absence of the aforementioned, huge trees!  Our host knew we had crossed the first River, just after noon and had been quick to reassure M that only another hour would see us there. More than once, in an afternoon that is infamous in our memories, we debated aborting the whole excursion and heading back to civilization, a bottle of good Cabernet and a warm B & B. That was while we still had a rough idea of which way civilization lay.

African River Crossing On The Rocks

Now, time was running out and with it our options.  The wilderness we had plunged into a few short hours ago had morphed into a spaghetti bowl of muddy trails in a tangled mass of undergrowth, overgrowth and stones…very muddy stones.  The darker it got, the harder it was to pick out where a trail ended and a just-felled patch of timber started. More than once the ‘Cruiser had to pick her way over branches and rocks or bypass whole trees left lying across the smudge of truck tyres that signified a track.

Adventure is awesome, keeps you on your toes, extra adrenalin is good for the metabolism and with these cheerful thoughts in mind, I hopped out to open yet another gate.  The lights of the ‘Cruiser picked out the rocky road, the trees and growth making a corridor up the hill but all the detail left and right was veiled in darkness; quite cosy really, down below me somewhere, I could hear the rushing water of an unseen stream and the soft “thrum” of the engine next to me. As I closed the gate, that cosy darkness enveloping me exploded with sound, roaring, barking, howling sounds! Arrrrrgh…Help! 

It took a lifetime to cover the distance between the back of the vehicle and the cab. Shaking with fright and shock, M nearly had me in his lap but then I realized he was shaking too…with laughter! We had inadvertently disturbed a troop of Chacma baboons settled in the trees for the night and they were scaring us off.  They use this technique to get rid of hungry leopards so why not lost people?

Chacma Baboon Male
The Chacma baboon with a body height of up to three feet (90 cm)and a weight up to 100 pounds (45 kg), is the largest and heaviest of the baboon species. Males can have canine teeth as long as 2 inches (longer than a lion's canine teeth). They are awesome predators – just think, four hands and all those teeth.  Many a leopard regretted their choice of dinner when dinner bit back…

See where we get to next time…

Monday, 27 February 2012

Rivers, Rocks and the Bark of Baboons...

Definition of Bundu Bashing – pitting your vehicle, yourself or both, against extreme wilderness situations. Usually involving a 4 X 4! An example would be a game conservation officer having to cut a path through the bush to save a stricken animal or capture poachers.

Through the River
... Welcome to this Bundu Bashing post. Please go to Wildmoz to see all our new articles on wildlife as they appear including this one. We are also publishing all our African Folktales in their full version in e-books for readers, PDFs, etc. as well as in hard copies. Keep a look out for these wonderful little stories for children and adults alike at Collect for yourself a set of twelve, in the format of your choice, see you there…

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Happy Birthday WWW! Coming up...Bundu Bashing!


On this day in 1991 – British computer programmer Tim Berners-Lee introduced the WorldWideWeb to the world...the rest, as they say, is history...

Happy 21st, WWW!

Next week, bundu bashing – our latest adventure! Bone shaker for sure…And the ‘Cruiser gets a run!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Traditional African Food – Making Pap…

After my last post, a reader emailed a request wanting to know how pap (maize meal porridge) is made…the traditional way. 
Stywe (Stiff) Pap and Veg
Mealie-meal (from Portuguese "milho") porridge is eaten all over Africa; it is a staple in the truest sense of the word and every African cuisine that favours maize over cassava, has its own version – all remarkably similar, types of porridge or *mush-like* mealie pap (similar to polenta).

... Welcome to this African Recipe. Please go to Wildmoz to see all our new articles as and when they appear. For the future; we will be publishing all our African Recipes in their full version in e-books for readers, PDFs, etc. as well as in hard copies over time. Keep a look out for these tasty, economical and easy to cook traditional and modern African Recipes.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Wild Food - African Style...A Recipe

With the possible exception of Arctic areas, there are varieties of wild edible "leafy greens" on every continent.

 Man has sought these wild crops for millennia, collecting them from the land wherever they could be found. Africans are no different; just as it was done in Europe and the Americas, it was done here.  But, as elsewhere in the world, wild greens and the whole concept of foraging has fallen by the wayside though rural people still do gather free food...

...Welcome to this post. Please go to Wildmoz to see all our new articles on wildlife as they appear. We are also publishing all our African Folktales in their full version in e-books for readers, PDFs, etc. as well as in ... Welcome to this post. Please go to Wildmoz to see all our new articles on wildlife as they appear. We are also publishing all our African Folktales in their full version in e-books for readers, PDFs, etc. as well as in hard copies. 

Keep a look out for these wonderful little stories for children and adults alike at Collect for yourself a set of twelve, in the format of your choice, as and when they are available...

Foraging in Botswana

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Saving Your Skin in the Bush…

African sun is merciless! Oops…all sun is merciless these days. Your skin, your hair, your eyes will all thank you for a little forward planning.

Thanks to early training (M’s), various emergency supplies, along with the ubiquitous tool kit and First Aid box, always find their way into our vehicles. Sometimes, when plans change, essential stuff in our “surprise” bag allows us to seize the day.

Sunbathing Meerkat*

The non-negotiable essential is a good sunblock – even on a grey day, you can still burn and some of us burn quicker than others.  Even before we were across the Crocodile River, we’d both used lots of Nivea Moisturising Sun Lotion 50+. Big plus; it’s not too strong smelling and it works for both our skin types. So keep some of whatever sunblock is your best, in the bag.  Along with strong sunshine, the resultant glare makes game spotting difficult and leads to cataracts and wrinkles, so sunglasses are very important. A cap or sunhat helps with both problems too.

A word about smells here: It’s well known that it’s not a good idea to smell too delicious while communing with nature. Most wild animals will have smelled you long before they see you anyway; I mean, we smell like people! They will either run away (not good) or check to see if you look edible (also not good) or feel threatened and decide to attack (even worse)!  Far better if they don’t even know you’re there. Products for sensitive skin are usually low on the added fragrance and an unscented deodorant won’t clash with that expensive bottle of Eau de Pricey. Leave your purse spray in your bag and the dust, heat, humidity etc. will have you smelling like a paid-up member of the socks-and-sandals brigade before long. That’s when a container of cooling, soothing (unscented) hand wipes come in very welcome and a spritz of natural pure water is total bliss. Even viewing nature from a vehicle, it’s wise to be inoffensive!

Life at the Waterhole

Our “Surprise” Bag essentials:

Hand and body cream/lotion
Empty plastic spray bottle (fill from the bottle of mineral water you should be drinking)
Caps (or sunhats)
Hand wipes (low or no scent)
Bug repellent spray
A clean T shirt (for each person)
Change of underwear (for each person)
Toothbrush and toothpaste
T(oilet) Paper (flattened roll)

This is only what works for us.  Your essentials will, no doubt, be different. We always travel with laptop, camera, our two cell (mobile) phones, car chargers and our sunglasses anyway. And then we have the aforementioned First Aid box and tool kit and even sometimes our picnic kit (wine opener, salt, pepper grinder, glasses, bush plates, knives and forks, tea towels (dish cloths).  All this stuff packs up really small and fits away in available nooks and crannies… And this is not intended to be a comprehensive list of everything you may need for a safari: Just a few supplies to make life more pleasant when civilization is not all that far away...

*Thanks to © Jenny Rollo for the Meerkat photo.



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