An Empty Coast

An Empty Coast
My latest novel

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The great East Africa Safari, part 1

Greetings from Grimbabwe, Legion of Fans (LOF) where Mrs Blog and I are currently staying in a mansion, in Harare. Unfortunately, it's a mansion with no electricity and no water.

What fun it is to take a daily bucket bath on the lawn with water drawn from a greenish swimming pool. We're off to Lake Kariba next week for a houseboat trip which promises to be great fun (although we're secretly looking forward to hot showers, fresh water and flushing loos more than the fishing or game viewing).

Internet connectivity is still patchy for me, but I've managed to send off the first part in a series of stories about our recent adventures and misadventures in East Africa.

You can read my first dispatch, from Kenya, at my Getaway Blog, here

You know the drill - go there and leave lost of comments.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm back... with some belated, fun-police advice

Hello? Hello? Anyone still there… or has Ali G and his legion of followers taken over this blog?

I’m back… for a little bit at least. Mrs Blog and I have been ‘up country’ (as people still say in East Africa), visiting Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, followed by the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park in neighbouring Tanzania.

I will be blogging extensively on our recent travels, so sit tight and brace your collective selves for lots of pictures, and an expose of the good, the bad and the frankly ridiculous in a selection of East Africa’s national parks.

I’ve got a couple of days’ worth of reliable internet connection while we transit from Tanzania to Zimbabwe, via Johannesburg. Once in Grimbabwe I doubt I’ll be doing much other than drinking Zambezi Lager and fishing on Lake Kariba, so don’t set your hopes too high.

In the meantime, I have something to share with you… some priceless words of wisdom straight from the desk of the Head of Communications of South African National Parks. I chanced upon a copy of the SANParks staff magazine during my recent time in Kruger and I offer this belated advice from the editor to all her fellow national parks employees, for the Christmas-New Year holiday season:

‘Colleagues, please take your personal safety seriously, condomise and refrain from having multiple sexual partners. Sex has and always will be there, so there is no reason for acting irresponsibly as if this is something that is going to disappear soon. Love yourself and love your partner.’

Yes ma’am!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Kristmas in Kruger - a trip report by Ali G

Greetings all, from suburban Joburg, where Mrs Blog and I are currently packing before jetting off tomorrow to Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. We're leaving our new(ish) 1997 Land Rover Broomas with his godparents here in South Africa and will be having a brief and no doubt tearful reunion with our Series III Land Rover, Tonka, when we get to Zim.

Mrs B has me hard at work doing chores, so I have no time to blog. Instead, I've enlised the help of Ali G, who has compiled a trip report on his recent visit to the Kruger National Park. Take it away, Ali...


The problem with being asked to do this and show some of the photos taken is that with my new DSLR I ended up taking some 700 + photos! Got a bit click-happy and a lot of it is crap but did get some nice ones I think. Was given lessons by TP on how to use it properly instead of leaving the camera setting on ‘auto’ which I admit [to my complete shame] is the setting I’ve used on every camera I’ve ever owned before now.

Sorting through the good ones it was hard to determine which few would give a reasonable idea of the just fantastic 2 weeks we spent with Parks & Wildlife [Tony & Nicola] at the various bush camps within Kruger National Park.

Think we ended up seeing just about EVERYTHING except the elusive cheetah and it was all terrific.

In retrospect the highlight of the trip was coming across a pack of 18 wild dogs trotting along the road for some 20 minutes or so. This pic is my favourite I think






Next one was this ‘zeberaffe’ grazing with his mom & dad…





Then there was Mr Giraffe behind the tree who seemed to be saying… ‘If you don’t mind.. a bit of privacy please’!



We also came across this guy, a yellow billed stork, who was fishing off a bridge we were crossing. He had his beak stuck down a crack in the bridge into the running water waiting for a fish to swim into his beak. Wasn’t fazed by us at all pulling up right next to him.



Our last week over Christmas was spent at Shimuwini bush camp on the river. Christmas day TP of course cooked his famous chook in a box with beer can inserted up its rear end while the ladies did a scrumptious roast pork in the house oven . .



My job was to peel the potatoes and drink beer and then get some firewood for the ‘brai’ so next pic is just before I cut down this tree for the barbie wood



Lunch was great and we spent the afternoon lounging with drinks in hand looking out over the river wondering what the poor people of the world were doing but not really caring .

Last pic here is of mother Blog [Lady Chatterley] with drinky in hand holding up a tree later in the afternoon with river & hippos in the background.