Ripping African Yarns.

Ah, you played that popular third world game Let's See What The Stupid Mzungu Will Put In His Mouth.
It's a story interwoven with tiny shards of truth. We did persuade one of our ex-ParaBat colleagues (very dismissive of poms) that we'd been invited to sample 'Blue Train' (for the non-connoisseur this is meths strained through a loaf) and that it was just like pocheen.
 
He must have thought you were gullible as fuck to have sampled that.

On the subject of Poms and cameramen, one would think you lot would know about pinhole cameras. Flying in the Sud, we had a Brit film crew on board and it hit me while airborne that there was a partial eclipse due around that time. Told them about it and mentioned the pinhole camera - blank looks. Got the load sheet off the plank and made a tiny hole with my Swiss army knife corkscrew and showed the partial occlusion projected onto the back of the plank.

Cue mad scramble to find their kit at the back in order to film it. Don't know if it ever made the idiot box in the UK, but the claw clutching the paper and plank was mine while the cojoe drove the thing.
 
Last edited:
I've always been in interested in how ranger, wardens and the Anti Poaching Units tracked animals. I've filmed in a few large parks and reserves and watched with interest as they plied their craft.

The guide would confer with his colleagues via radio in local 'dialect', dismount the landy, poke about in the bush, lift and sniff some soil/shite and then advise the clients, waiting expectantly in the transport:
'Ach looks like a pair of hunting lioness passed through, after warthog'.
Then sure enough, after a lot of earnest staring through binos, and looking at the 'spore' we would happen on the animals as described.

Spoiler alert.
I got to know them and after beers they revealed that 'it's all kak for the tourists..'
What actually happens is that rangers head out early doors and get a fix on the big 4 and then pass the info on via code to the guides. I don't remember much but shlatti was thick bush and ronke was leopard, etc.
Same in Mara, first day impressed that the driver , guide could spot lion, cheeta, other meat eaters 3 or 4 hundred meters away. After a few days clocked he was looking at all the prey animals who all change their behavior when they see any nasties trying to get close for a munch. After a few das he was passing on all the tips. Monkies mob together and will look where the Leopard is. Etc.

Mind he was only a qualified Silver guide. Seems it costs a fortune for them to get fully qualified. Mind , explaining that part of the test is identifying something like 100 birds by their call seemed a bit steep. Then he showed my the App on his phone all the birds pictures, local and scientific names and then a recording of the bird. He said he just went to bed at night listening to them until he fell asleep.

Also the white boss of the camp told us that “our” guides knew the sign. But the other camps guides did not so used channel 3 of the safety radio to tell each other where everything was.

Drinking a sundowner he said “Our guides don’t , we use channel 2 . “

Next day , our guide must have dialed in the wrong channel.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
We did Namibia, Botswana, SA and Malawi for our honeymoon. Had an absolutely fantastic time. Truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

I suppose we were fairly shielded from the realities of the place as we stayed in top notch luxury safari lodges and flew everywhere in private cessnas and helicopters.

I do recall being in some amazing lodge in either Namibia or Botswana and all the guides were packing big revolvers.

Shiny 357 Magnum type things.

My assumption was that they were in case any big cats got in the camp.

“Nah bru, we got robbed by bandits a few months back, they came in with machetes, tied everyone up and stole everything.”

Great.
D789D755-52B6-4725-BCDE-910E39459AC0.jpeg
BB9B46BD-E6C9-4FF1-BFC2-7B8D7450A58C.jpeg
FA4991F9-7956-47CB-BAF7-485C9DA24795.jpeg
002118C8-94F9-4962-8AD7-68183A7AEF36.jpeg
C9561B92-8EAB-4649-BFA5-44D6A9E3E004.jpeg
7790E9CB-A30B-46D4-9288-D9CD179EFEF9.jpeg
B1B985D0-1C16-4CB2-A8BB-1AC0818A2FEC.jpeg
C0C99EA3-CAD1-4D01-A2DF-CF60538F1EFB.jpeg
99251E43-0F50-4DF2-9D09-998CACF6939F.jpeg
 
IIRC a sapper contracted and died of anthrax on an Ex Grand Prix (Kenya) I was on. Thought to have picked it up by bashering up on ground frequented by cattle and buffalo.

ISTR that he was part of a small team putting out batsims for the live firing phase. Unfortunately they were on their own whilst the rest of the trg team and ex units were somewhere else, so they weren't in comms when the chap fell sick (not nice being stuck with a mate's body in 40o+ with vultures circling, as reported).
Was told about the lad (RIP) as he was one of ours. Just before my time. Think the verdict was he must have slept where a diseases carcass had been and died in his sleep.
 

4(T)

LE
Was told about the lad (RIP) as he was one of ours. Just before my time. Think the verdict was he must have slept where a diseases carcass had been and died in his sleep.

The progression of the disease seemed astonishingly quick, apparently just a few hours from feeling a bit ill to passing away. A young fit bloke as well. RIP
 

Oyibo

LE
Is it appropriate on this thread to talk about the dark really nasty side of Africa? Not the usual stuff we read in the papers about some 'rebels' killing each other, but the really f*cking shitty side of how 'cheap life is'?
 
IIRC a sapper contracted and died of anthrax on an Ex Grand Prix (Kenya) I was on. Thought to have picked it up by bashering up on ground frequented by cattle and buffalo.

ISTR that he was part of a small team putting out batsims for the live firing phase. Unfortunately they were on their own whilst the rest of the trg team and ex units were somewhere else, so they weren't in comms when the chap fell sick (not nice being stuck with a mate's body in 40o+ with vultures circling, as reported).
I read about a British musician who died of anthrax contracted from a drum (I think a bodhran) made with a goatskin imported from Africa that had come from a goat which had anthrax. The spores were knocked loose into the air when beating on the drum, to then be inhaled by the musician, leading to inhalation anthrax, which is particularly deadly.
 
Is it appropriate on this thread to talk about the dark really nasty side of Africa? Not the usual stuff we read in the papers about some 'rebels' killing each other, but the really f*cking shitty side of how 'cheap life is'?
Life can be cut short remarkably quickly. We boiled water fast for at least 10 minutes before putting it in the fridge for drinking. Any less and we risked cholera which will let you shite yourself to death in 6 hours. My sister damn near died of malaria( Thankyou London School of tropical diseases and BOAC who got her back in record time) , dysentery , bilharziasis , rabies, the list went on and on. AIDS now, but not prevalent in my time.,Even worse for the average black population as they had no system to fall back on. I well remember plenty of skinny legged black boys with pot bellies and ginger hair: malnutrition tearing through the community. Wars and corruption were just the icing on the cake .
 
Life can be cut short remarkably quickly. We boiled water fast for at least 10 minutes before putting it in the fridge for drinking. Any less and we risked cholera which will let you shite yourself to death in 6 hours. My sister damn near died of malaria( Thankyou London School of tropical diseases and BOAC who got her back in record time) , dysentery , bilharziasis , rabies, the list went on and on. AIDS now, but not prevalent in my time.,Even worse for the average black population as they had no system to fall back on. I well remember plenty of skinny legged black boys with pot bellies and ginger hair: malnutrition tearing through the community. Wars and corruption were just the icing on the cake .
It’s terrible with all that carnage going on to develop ginger hair as well. They could probably cope with everything else :)
 
Beri beri. Another reason is initiation for the young boys who have cattle piss on them which turns their hair orange. See it in the Sudan quite a bit.

The Blessed Sir Spike mentioned it in one of his books. I think they called them McDonalds.
 

Tool

LE
Mine-sweeping roads in northern Namibia was one of three methods:

Sweeping with foreign-object detectors ("mine detectors"), the official way.
"Spooking" - strap 3-4 blokes into a mine-proof vehicle. Drive +- 40mph up the road, with the driver trying to hit every pile of dung and pothole (deliberately setting off mines), or let the PB (Plaslike Bevolking - locals) "spook" the road for you. If they wait, there is a mine on the road somewhere.*
Watch the local kids - if they're sitting next to the road with their fingers in their ears, there's a mine nearby.

* Not always true - we attended a civvie car that triggered a land mine. The local chief pissed someone off, so he wasn't told about the mines on the road. Cue 3 adults and 1 baby deaded.
 
Mine-sweeping roads in northern Namibia was one of three methods:

Sweeping with foreign-object detectors ("mine detectors"), the official way.
"Spooking" - strap 3-4 blokes into a mine-proof vehicle. Drive +- 40mph up the road, with the driver trying to hit every pile of dung and pothole (deliberately setting off mines), or let the PB (Plaslike Bevolking - locals) "spook" the road for you. If they wait, there is a mine on the road somewhere.*
Watch the local kids - if they're sitting next to the road with their fingers in their ears, there's a mine nearby.

* Not always true - we attended a civvie car that triggered a land mine. The local chief pissed someone off, so he wasn't told about the mines on the road. Cue 3 adults and 1 baby deaded.
All makes sense.

However ‘mine sweeping’ is something the common soldiery do in a pub :)
 
Anthrax, you say...

You have an impressive set of nuts getting that close to anything bleeding that's died of that.




Meh. It's a one way street. You'd only confuse them trying to explain that anyone can be racist.

Anyhow, race is just a combat indicator. The target is anyone who has money and the assumption is that the Dollar Fairy brings every mzungu a wheelbarrow full of hundred dollar bills every morning, so you're fair game.
You get a mild dose of anthrax from milking cows ....
 
Soy latte anyone?

That sounds like a bloody dodgy way to earn a living.
 

Latest Threads

Top