Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world


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African safari stories

[1] African 1950’s Safari introduction

Joe Lucas portrait

Joe′s Journal of 1950’s safari′s, work contracts and expeditions to far away places. The 1950′s saw a steady stream of well trained technicians available to industry, having completed National Service. I opted for travel and adventure overseas, well paid work with low taxation…

[2] WW2 dogfight – Before the Safari days

A damaged Dornier 17 with a lone parachutist

A quick scan and I became pack leader on spotting them: twenty plus Dornier 17’s, heading for Bristol. This was a WW2 dogfight unfolding before my eyes.
Beautiful blue undersides paled into the matching autumn sky, but black crosses stared from the wings.
Crackle of gunfire revealed just three Hurricanes weaving around…

[3] A Gift of Marbles

4 glass marbles.

The beaming proprietor began counting cool objects into my sweaty outstretched palms.
No – NOT CHANGE! Seven clicks as each kissed its neighbour, eight little spheres of gleaming glass with whorls of white on blue, green, red or amber, two of each hue. One per gallon MARBLES…

[4] The Victoria Falls

Small part of the Victoria Falls.

What is the local name for the Victoria Falls? Known to Africans as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. I saw the clouds from the spray and heard the ‘thunder’ 25 miles away!…

[5] 1950’s Mosal – Kurdish delight but very dangerous

A dry, dusty road in Basra.

The tarmac soon gave way to dust in 1950’s Mosal, but it was halfway through the day, about 70 miles on before foothills replaced the plains. Further on and well into the mountains my driver seemed happier, now in his own country, so I raised the subject of the bullet hole that starred my half of the divided windscreen. Apparently, recently in this valley, his passenger in my seat was an Arab police chief…

[6] Sable Antelope

Head of a Sable Antelope

What chance against a lion?
A Sable Antelope in a (then) Southern Rhodesia Game Reserve…

[7] A 1960’s Safari Guide and me

Joe and guide close up.

1962 Luangwa Valley Game Reserve. My visit, with the African Safari Guide, to this area was inspired by the book ‘Wildlife in an African Territory’ by F. Frazer-Darling. Having satisfied the manager I was self contained…

[8] Tanganyikan safari: Fire in the night

Dirt road in Tanganyika.

An hour or so later on this Tanganyikan safari: Awake! … Smoke! … Fire? ‘Get back to sleep; it’s the crew and their camp fire, still rejoicing.’ Another hour. Awake again, more smoke, but no fire and the crew silent now. Sleep again.
And again! Choking this time and definitely not from wood smoke!…