Throwback Thursday (2) — Ngorongoro, Tanzania, April 1984

Blue Wildebeest
Hippopotamuses doing what hippos do.

Superb starling — Ngorongoro, Tanzania, 1984

Safari sogoody

“Are you no getting out, Tom?” Jamie asked, pulling himself up through the hatch in the roof of the Land Rover.

“Am I ‘eck as like,” Tom replied, “There’s wild animals out there.”

Looking around at the vast spaces of Tanzania’s Ngorongoro crater conservation area that surrounded them, Jamie said, “But the driver’s out, and so’s old Derek. They dinnae seem concerned about the beasties.”

“That’s as maybe, lad, but you’ll see driver’s hand is on the door handle; it’ll not take him long to get back in. As for Derek; look at him; he’s in a world of his own.”

“Aye, that’s a fact,” Jamie said with a chuckle then, more seriously, “But they would’nae let us get out of the car if there was any danger, would they?”

“Wouldn’t they? Think on it, Jamie. They’ve had us money, that’s all they’re after.”

Jamie fidgeted and tried to pull himself up to the vehicle’s roof. “But there’d be trouble if they lost one of us. They’d be done for negligence, at least.”

“You’d think, wouldn’t you!” Tom exclaimed, adding to Jamie’s discomfiture. “This is wild animal country; I’d wager they lose people regular, like. Just part of the excitement of it, is the risk.”

Looking around at the wildlife he could see from his position atop the Land Rover, Jamie asked, “Aye, but zebras; what danger can they be?”

“Zebras, probably nowt; they’re just striped horses. But where there’s zebras, there’s wildebeest. Think on that, Jamie. What do you suppose wildebeest means?”

Jamie shifted around and moved to lower himself back to the safety of his seat. “Cannae say I’ve thought about it.”

“Well I have, Jamie. The clue’s in the name. Wildebeest is probably African for ‘wild beast’. And when you think about some of the animals that live in Africa, to call something wild is a big thing.”

“What other animals?” Jamie asked from the safety of the interior of the vehicle.

“Take your pick. Lions, rhinos, cheetahs, eagles, snakes.”

“So why did ye come on this trip?”

“I had to, you great wazzock. It was free, paid for by t’ company!” Tom concluded, having first lowered himself to a position of safety beside his colleague.


This short story was written in response to Kreative Kue 17, issued on this site earlier this week.