Monday 23 September 2013

Salani kahle

I've never sat on the loo before, stroking a cat balanced on the rim of the basin, while watching monkeys leap along the wall outside. This trip has been crammed full of close and astonishing animal encounters, far surpassing my expectations in that respect, and for that reason alone I would love to come again.

Even more, though, it's been the people. We've been so lucky to enjoy the unlimited hospitality of the Hedges family, all of them so friendly, intelligent, knowledgeable and passionate about their country with all its faults and difficulties. South Africa is a country of huge resources and potential, hampered by its government but kept going by the will of its people, and everyone we've met has had in common a determination to make things better. It'll take time, but it will happen.

The rhino issue is the perfect symbol: a unique and very special animal, threatened by greed and corruption, but inspiring wonderful and varied effort from all sorts of people, from all over the world, united in the cause. They must succeed, and we all must help:

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