“… the underlying reason why many come here – is the feeling in Botswana that you’re within an endless pristine wilderness, almost devoid of human imprint. For city-dwellers, such space is the ultimate luxury. In Botswana, animals wander freely across vast reserves which are measured in thousands of square kilometres, not hectares. Exploring these wilder corners is invariably deeply liberating. …”
“One of Savuti’s more famous residents was an elephant named Baby Huey, who had become very relaxed around people. He’d also picked up a liking for oranges, after foolish visitors fed him. Gradually he came to associate people with food. When I first visited Savuti in 1998, this was a problem.
Nobody drives around at night, but on that trip we were woken at 05.00 one morning by a vehicle driving up to our tent. The couple inside it had seen our fire burning, and come to seek sanctuary. It seems that they, and their small son, had been sleeping in the back (the pick-up section) of their 4x4 when Baby Huey had passed by. Smelling oranges, he’d used his tusk on the front cab like a can-opener on a tin, and then delved inside for a snack. The couple were completely traumatised, and left Chobe at first light. Two days later Baby Huey was shot – and camping visitors are still banned from bringing citrus fruit into the park. And all because people were naive enough to feed the animals.”
Excerpted from Botswana: The Bradt Safari Guide, 3rd by McIntyre, Chris Copyright © 2010 by McIntyre, Chris. Excerpted by permission.
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