Mahlangeni: Stories of a game ranger's family, by Kobie Kruger
Written with warmth, humour and a charm that reflects her deep love of the solitude of the wilderness and her respect for its creatures, great and small, by Kobie Kruger's story of life at Mahlangeni will delight all lovers of wild places.
A dramatic welcome at Mahlangeni
It had been a long day and by nightfall we were exhausted. The house was in chaos, with boxes, crates and bits of furniture all over the place. We did manage, at least, to have our beds in position and had found bedding for everyone in the midst of the confusion. So, it was early to bed. About an hour after retiring, I was woken by a strange sound. 'What's that?' I asked my slumbering husband. He slept on, unhearing. I lay awake for a while, listening and thinking about the strange, dark house. I began to wonder whether I had really heard something, or whether it had merely been my imagination. Just as I was dozing off, I heard the sound again. This time I woke my husband up. 'What's that?' I asked him. He said, 'Hmmm?' A strange noise,' I said. 'Didn't you hear it?' 'Hmmm?' he said. All was quiet. I lay quietly, waiting for the sound to repeat itself, but it didn't. My husband Kobus drifted back to sleep and after a while I was about to do the same when suddenly I heard it again. I woke Kobus once more, saying urgently, 'Kobus! Did you hear that?' He said, 'Huh?' 'That noise ...' I said. An owl screeched outside and Kobus mumbled, 'Owl.' 'No, not that! It was ... a sort of ... huffing noise .. 'Probably a leopard,' he muttered sleepily. 'Leopard?' I asked, alarmed. 'But it sounded as though it was right here in the bedroom!' We remained silent for a while, listening. Down by the river a million frogs were croaking to high heaven. A hippo snorted. Far away, a jackal wailed. Other strange sounds drifted through the night. But inside the house all seemed quiet. Finally, Kobus said, 'You're probably imagining things. Try to relax ... get some sleep ...' 'Yes, OK,' I said. It most probably was my imagination, I decided. The strange, dark house was unnerving me. I fell into a deep sleep. Later in the night I was woken by one of the children who needed the bathroom and couldn't find her way in the dark. It really is dark here at night. We can't switch on a light because the electric generator runs only during the daytime. I reached for my torch on the bedside cabinet and got up. After helping my daughter, I returned to our bedroom. And then suddenly I remembered the strange sounds that had alarmed me earlier in the night. I played the beam of the torch around the bed and something, perhaps a movement or a shadow, caught my attention. I raised the torch slightly, and recoiled in horror: part of a huge, glossy, dark blotched reptilian body loomed in the light of the torch. Wheeling the torch crazily, I illuminated the rest of the scene: the 'thing' had its tail section inside the half-open drawer of my bedside cabinet, its middle part was coiled on top of the cabinet, and the rest was woven into the slats of the bed's headboard. It was such a bizarre sight that it took me a while to register what I was looking at. 'Kobus!' I gasped. 'Wake up!' [...]
This is an excerpt from the memoirs 'Mahlangeni: Stories of a game ranger's family', by Kobie Kruger.
Subtitle: Stories of a game ranger's family
Author: Kobie Kruger
Publisher: The Penguin Group (SA)
Cape Town, South Africa 2011
ISBN 9780140242935 / ISBN 978-0-14-024293-5
Softcover, 14 x 21 cm, 250 pages, sketches
Kruger, Kobie im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Highly entertaining stories of a ranger's family in Mahlangeni, one of the most remote ranger stations in the Kruger National Park.
"Ich trage Afrika im Herzen" sind Erinnerungen an die Abenteuer und das Leben einer Rangerfamilie im Krüger Nationalpark Südafrikas der 1980er Jahre.