(c) DJT 2002

Beware of Intrepid Travel Guides

Beware of intrepid travel guides. Their regard for your safety may be almost as cavalier as their regard for their own.

Many years ago, I travelled by dugout in the marshes of the Okavango. I became thirsty, as there was no drinking water in my dugout and I had been led to believe that I did not need to bring my own. When I asked the guide, I found that no drinking water had been brought. In spite of official warnings not to drink the marsh water because of bilharzia and other dangers, the guide was convinced that the water was safe at that time of the year. Neither I nor the other travellers had any choice other than to drink the unpurified marsh water.

We also swam in a place where there were "probably" no crocodiles and slept in the open because the campfire would "probably" keep lions away if there were any in the vicinity.

To be fair, none of us came to any harm and we had a great experience. That safari guide's disregard for his own safety later helped him to become a world renowned combat photographer. It also got him shot on several occasions, although he miraculously always survived. They even made a big budget movie about some of his adventures.

If he ever reads this: Greg, you still owe me 15 rand for the two-volume Trees and Shrubs of the Kruger National Park. Ah, forget it. R15 isn't worth much nowadays.

I'm still cheesed off about you breaking the varnish off the nails of my kangaroo paw bottle opener when you used its as a backscratcher, though.


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