MANIE VAN DER MERWE
READER STORY, P. 62
Manie remembers a tour to Botswana in the eighties in this month’s Reader Story.
What’s the best place in the bush you’ve ever visited?
The old camp under the Ana trees up the banks of the Cunene River in the Marienfluss, before there was a community camp. Also sleeping on top of a sand dune under the stars in the Hartmann Valley, but only if the wind isn’t blowing.
What is your number one travel tip?
Plain, simple elastic bands. Take a packet with you, they help with all the small niggles and irritations on tour – from tying your camera’s spare battery down in a strategic place to sealing a half-eaten bag of peanuts.
Do you plan your trips in detail or just go with the flow?
I try to read up as much as possible about our route and the destination, and plan thoroughly according to that. But a trip also needs a certain amount of flexibility, and especially if it’s your first one to a specific destination.
Which destination in Southern Africa would you like to visit?
I’d love to see the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia again, as well as the Ngorongoro Crater.
Do you have a favourite travel writer?
Johan Bakkes and everything in Drive Out. I’ve also read two books on Livingstone. It’s amazing how people use to travel back then. Everything was so primitive!
What music do you listen to on the road?
Anything with a good tune.
On my bucket list…
A canoe trip over a good few days down the Zambezi River.