The lone spoor of a human. Not at all remarkable on planet earth. But here, in the remote wilderness, it is unusual and it means something totally different from what it would in the place popularly known as “civilisation.” We were days’ walking away from any of the little villages one sometimes comes across in the bush, where African people live in small communities of some hundred or more, precariously tethered by many meandering kilometres of feint track to a rather pragmatic rendering of civilisation.
So, what was the meaning of this single spoor, left about a day or so earlier in the grey dust, finely powdered by the passing of a breeding herd of buffalo?
It was from the male of the species, we could see from the stride, wearing a pair of sandals fashioned out of old car tyres with tread almost gone.
Could the lone walker have come from one those the semi-nomadic family groups that shun even the isolated villages, carving a living out of the bush with a combination of skill and art and wisdom and luck?
I love making contact with such groups. I have always found them to be friendly and hospitable and generous. At the very least they are a rich source of bush information and if you are lucky, even of wonderful tales.
It was worth following the spoor to learn more about the fortunes of its owner.
This is getting a bit long, so I'll continue it next week. For the intrepid I have dropped an extract from Paths of the Tracker into my blog (https://www.hoffmantheronvanzijl.com/blog)
It is a tale of the fortunes of such a little group.
#explore #extremeoffroad #extremelife #africanature #africanbush #africanadventure #africansafariu4 - 1 hour ago