Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Sure It's Wonderful to See All the Wild Animals, but There's No Need to Lower Your Standards, Writes DOUG CONWAY; Creature Comforts for a Sissy on Safari: Electric Blankets and a Bubble Bath in the Kalahari

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Sure It's Wonderful to See All the Wild Animals, but There's No Need to Lower Your Standards, Writes DOUG CONWAY; Creature Comforts for a Sissy on Safari: Electric Blankets and a Bubble Bath in the Kalahari

Article excerpt

THE only bubble bath I have had this year was in the middle of the Kalahari desert. The same goes for my only use of an electric blanket.

Who says you have to rough it on safari?

I didn't even have to remember to switch my blanket on before drifting to sleep in a marshmallow-soft bed approximately the size of Botswana.A maid attended to that every night. Nor did I have to set an alarm.

I was woken at the appropriate time by the soft tapping of a jungle drum outside my thatch-roofed desert palace. Its empathetic dawn tattoo wafted through my doors and windows, which were all covered by fly screens but had no glass, the better to feel the pulse, hear the sounds and smell the scents of Africa. It was accompanied by a valet bearing a cup of hot chocolate to my doorstep. A tasty light breakfast a a hearty brunch came later a was ready and waiting for me a short stroll away at camp central. Then it was off on safari.

The early mornings in Botswana's Okavanga Delta, the world's biggest inland delta at 15,000 square kms, can be chilly but that's no major drama when you have a warm blanket waiting for you in the jeep.

It's what's inside the blanket, though, that really delivers a delightful surprise and one I definitely won't be telling my tattooed mates about at our next Hell's Angels chapter meeting. It's a hot water bottle.

Until that moment, I could just about pretend I was a teak-tough Aussie good enough to rough it with the best of them in the dark and dangerous heart of Africa. But that one tiny detail a the hottie a brings me undone. Face up to it, I tell myself: you're a sissy on safari. And, as Maxwell Smart said, loving it.

I start to self-justify. What's wrong with a little pampering as you get up close and personal with Africa's mightiest beasts? Am I bothering man or beast by stopping for a mid-morning coffee, with home-made ginger snap biscuits, in between the elephants and giraffes?

Is the world a worse place if, after a hard day in the Kalahari, I can sip a G and T sundowner as I watch hippos snorting in a waterhole? …

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