Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ostensibly Elephants

Imagine, if you can, that you are in Cameroon.

It's 48,000°K, and you're in the middle of the country's foremost wildlife park, Waza. You've seen giraffes, antelopes, a gazelle, a couple of jackals, warthogs, ostriches and more different varieties of bird than anyone in their right mind should ever know the names of. Big ones, small ones, huge ones, tiny ones, colourful ones, brown ones, black ones, ones that look like they belong in cartoons and others that circle you, ominously, on the off chance that something life-terminating happens.

You've spent most of the day perched on top of a Ubiquitous Toyota Landcruiser - Japan's all-pervading gift to the world tourist trade - and the seat of your formerly beige trousers bears all the hallmarks of a sudden and somewhat dramatic bowel evacuation but it is, in fact, entirely due to the fact that you were sitting on the filthy and bald spare tyre, on the roof-rack.

Your impatient and almost wholly incomprehensible driver has hurtled down dirt tracks at something close to warp-speed, paying scant regard for your life and trying his best to have you neatly kebabed on any number of heavily armed trees. Your toothless and gurning guide gurgles at you in what you assume is a contented manner.

Bruised and battered and a little pink about the gills, you come to a halt in a cloud of dust atop a man-made viewing mound: it's that time of day, you see, when packs of pachyderms perambulate waterwards after a hard day's grazing.

..... .. ..... .. . .......

From our 'vantage' point, that there line of dots is about as much as we saw. They were elephants and there were a huge number of them: if Sini the guide and Sali the driver are to be believed, and who am I to doubt them, there were in the region of 200 and that's a lot of elephant no matter which way you look at it.

We looked at it from the front and from the side and had I not run out of water and my fellow trippers out of patience then I could have told you for sure.

Oh well. There's always next time.


  1. thank jiminy grandoodally you've got rid of the goth layout. was doing my bwain in. much nicer and i am a designer so i know.


    But mine looked a bit like this:

    .... .... . . .......
    .. ...................

    ..... .

    . .


    The last ones are the ones I squashed. Ants of course, as they creep, creeped, or crept possibly, or maybe even scuttled) accross my computer keyboard. darn them all.

    They've gone now. That's lentil soup for you. I'll send you some.


Thank you for your comment. Thank you for your patience while we moderate.