Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Hemingway Safari: Savute (Part 6)

Morning dawns cold and early. We have breakfast around the campfire and head out once again on a game drive. This is about the coldest I have been in a long time, and when we come back, I buy a heavy sweater.

At lunch, we are asked whether we would like duck breast at dinner, or beef stroganoff. Our entire table opts for the duck breast in a sweet chili sauce, served over cous cous. Imagine, a million miles from anywhere, and eating and sleeping like kings.

As we finish our afternoon game drive, we end up in a long line of traffic returning to the lodge – the young lions like to walk in the road. More like sauntering in the road, after all, they are the kings, we are the gawkers, so we all just toodle along behind as they take their sweet time walking along. It was a fun moment, but meant that we just barely got back to the lodge in time for the dinner bells, a man playing on one of those wooden xylophones with the tinkly wooden sound. It’s an inviting way to be called to dinner.

When they finally had us all seated for dinner – remember, there is a maximum capacity at Savute Elephant Camp of 24 guests – there was an expectant pause. Then, from the kitchen area came a conga line of all the staff, kitchen staff, chambermaids, laundry staff, grounds people, game trackers and managerial staff, black and white together, singing “Cmon everybody”. They danced all around the dining room, oh what fun. Then they gathered at the bar/lounge area and sang a song that started “Beeee-you-ti-fuulll Savute (clap clap clap), Beeeee-you-ti-fuuullll Savute (clap clap clap) I will never forget . . . . Beee-you-ti-fuuullll Savute”. And then they sang the same for Botswana (clap clap clap) and for Aaf-reee-kah (clap clap clap) and I am embarassed to tell you, but seeing them all together, working so hard, so graciously, to give us a good time, I just cried. Tears just rolled down my face, I couldn’t help it. It was so beautiful.

The whole idea of Savute Elephant camp is so beautiful, and the graciousness and hospitality is so personal and genuine, I just loved it.

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September 15, 2006 - Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Botswana, Cultural, Travel | , ,

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