Simply Safari, by Daryl Balfour and Sharna Balfour
Simply Safari by Daryl Balfour and Sharna Balfour features the most appealing examples of these distinctive retreats and will provide decorating inspiration for contemporary home owners and game-farm owners alike.
SAFARI IS A SIMPLE SWAHILI WORD meaning ‘journey’, or ‘to travel’, but has come to mean so very much more. Imbued with a sense of the exotic, more typically a sense of Africa, the word safari has today become symbolic of something far more romantic; it evokes images of adventure and stylish indulgence as portrayed by actors Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in the 1985 film version of Karen Blixsen’s Out of Africa. ‘Safari’ had, in fact, been adopted by the colonial elite who settled much of southern and east Africa more than a hundred years ago. Even Denis Finch Hatton, the legendary ‘White Hunter’ portrayed by Redford and who promised his clients spacious walk-in tents with high ceilings, crisp bedlinen and fresh laundry daily piping-hot baths and ice-cold cocktails with fresh canapes, followed by dinner at an immaculate table set with crystal and silverware and accompanied by vintage wines, was following traditions set long before. Perhaps the first person to establish the idea of safari for the sake of simple pleasure and enjoyment, rather than adventure and hardship in search of fortune, was the 19th-century naturalist and British colonial army officer Captain William Cornwallis Harris. In 1836 he led an expedition through southern Africa whose sole purpose was to observe and record (by painting) the wildlife and landscapes witnessed by the expedition members. Schooled by the high style of the army mess in India, Harris ensured that his entourage did not suffer too many deprivations, though he did establish the safari routine still followed today - rise at first light for tea and a hearty breakfast, an energetic day in the wilderness with a midday nap under a shady tree, followed by a return to camp in the evening for a lavish dinner accompanied by fine wines before retiring to the fireside for cigars, port and tales of safari exploits. Later that century Sir Randolph Churchill (Winston’s father) took this example even further while undertaking a lavish safari in what was then Rhodesia. His party was accompanied by a huge contingent of staff and lackeys and a wagon train loaded with what he considered to be the essentials - not only tents, beds, tables and chairs but also a full-sized piano, cases of whiskey, gin and wine, and crates of vintage champagne. Today’s safaris are little different, though the establishment of permanent tented camps and lodges have negated the need for hundreds of porters, wagons and the like (though there are still any number of professional mobile safari operators who offer a taste-of these expeditions of old). Nowadays Africa still attracts travellers with an adventurous bent wanting to experience wilderness in the style of some of those early explorers and naturalists, and they are able to do so simply by making a reservation at one of the operations catering to these needs. By perpetuating the traditions of these old safaris, adopting the decorative style and borrowing from early architecture, modern camps and lodges are able to offer a highly romanticised way of ‘roughing it’ and an experience of great luxury and sensuality. In compiling this book we endeavoured to portray a cross-section of architectural and decorative styles, from the more traditional to the most modern, and from those built in original tented safari style to others that are more like small luxury hotels in the wild. In each of the southern African states we visited - Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and, briefly because of the political turbulence, Zimbabwe - we saw diverse themes in design and decor, connected by threads of colonial grandeur tied with an African simplicity in a style that was quite simply safari!
This is an excerpt from the book: Simply Safari, by Daryl Balfour and Sharna Balfour.
Title: Simply Safari
Author: Daryl and Sharna Balfour
Publisher: Struik Publishers
Cape Town, South Africa 2001
ISBN 1868725324 / ISBN 1-86872-532-4
ISBN 9781868725328 / ISBN 978-1-86872-532-8
Hardcover, dustjacket, 24x32 cm, 192 pages, throughout colour photos
Balfour, Daryl und Balfour, Sharna im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Simply Safari features the most appealing examples of Southern African distinctive retreats and provides decorating inspiration.
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