By Peter Allison
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Extra resources for Don't Look Behind You, But...: Tales from an African Safari Guide
I fumbled in the darkness when we arrived at camp, my startled retinas having a rough time adjusting to its subdued lighting. ’ I saw no teeth, surely the brightest thing in the region, and thought maybe he didn’t know the word. ’ He laughed. ‘Ya, umfo! Nice! ’ Lights At Night Lights At Night I have always liked driving at night. It is the best time to think, your thoughts accompanied by nothing but a growl from the engine, the swish of tyres on the road, punctuated by the occasional pop as a piece of gravel shoots out from underneath, perhaps pinging musically against the underside of the vehicle on its way.
Well spotted, Tussy,’ Green-Leaf Man said, irritating me by using a nickname he hadn’t been granted permission to employ. Getting desperate to show that I could do something more than push an accelerator and steer, I leant forward in my seat and craned my neck to full extension, as if somehow this would help me see animals sooner. ’ before realising it was just impala. Then I jammed on the brakes. Titus gave a panicky grab at one of the handrails beside his seat, steadied himself, then looked back at me to see why I had nearly thrown him off the vehicle.
I loved this new job passionately and lived for moments like these. I didn’t want them taken away. ’ I asked, not having the words in Titus’s language yet to ask that. ‘Not broken,’ Titus said. ‘Mina booga two mpondo’—I see two horns. I scanned the surrounding plain for a second rhino, imagining we were about to become the meat in the sandwich of a titanic clash. But the plain held only our rocking vehicle, and the lone rhino. Then I got it. ‘Oh,’ I said. ’ ‘Ya umfo,’ Titus said, misunderstanding me.
Don't Look Behind You, But...: Tales from an African Safari Guide by Peter Allison