You don’t need a lot at a camp site to keep people well occupied. All that’s required is a little space, some breathtaking scenery and the chemistry of getting away to somewhere special as a group does the rest.
Camp photo on Chapel kopje - mid 1970s
When I was a kid we used to get away to Shalom campsite several times a year. By today’s standards the camp site was beyond rustic. However, what it lacked in creature comforts was made up for in spades by the ambience, the sense of history and splendid isolation in the wilds of the African bush. I thought I’d share some scattered memories of our times there.
The getting there was the first epic. Though it has its dangers there’s a certain romanticism about clambering onto the back of a truck for a 60km journey on twisting narrow roads. When you’re doing it with your peers, all bristling with the excitement of what lies ahead over the next few days, it makes for a contagious hub bub of shrieking laughter and crazy inanity. About twenty kilometers into the journey we’d enter the Matopos National Park, an exquisite place with some of the largest granite outcrops in the world. A riot of balancing rocks, emerald-green acacia trees and African wildlife. Our convoy of trucks would rumble along, campers a sea of contentment sprawled over the open deck or standing looking forward over the front cab, faces smashed with swarms of insects.
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