Tuesday 9 September 2014

Somewhat different from hedgehogs and possums...

So that's all right then. The elephants will be "deterred". No reference to the "lion, buffalo, black and white rhino, cheetah and leopard" that were proudly listed a couple of paragraphs above this, or the fact that the big cats are still small enough to slip underneath a 2m-high wire.

And you know what? It really is all right. This is what going on safari should be like: lying in your tent at night listening to the rustles outside and wondering whether that's the wind doing it, or a stealthy paw. It'll be exciting, and so what if it's not restful? I can sleep soundly at home.
Bayete camp is part of Phinda Private Game Reserve, but it's not one of the fancy, upmarket lodges like Rock Lodge where I stayed last time, with a sherry decanter on the coffee table, a yoga kit in a bag and a private plunge pool out on the deck. This tented camp is for staff and private guests, and I'll be staying there with the three students from NZ who I'll be chaperoning at the first World Youth Rhino Summit in South Africa next week, after the conference has finished.

The summit is going to be intense and interesting and inspiring, and I'm really looking forward to it. Young people from all around the world will be there to discuss the threat to rhino survival, and come up with ideas to save them. We'll be meeting some of the people on the front line of this war, and going out to see the objects of all this effort, peacefully grazing on the veldt as they have for 50 million years. If we're the last generation to see that sight, well, 'shame' is too trivial a word.

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