Wildness and wilderness

2008-08-20 00:00

AS a young game ranger working in the Kruger National Park, Christiaan Bakkes achieved a degree of local notoriety when he lost an arm to a crocodile as a result of a foolish dare. While this encounter may have taught him the value of caution (but not enough to prevent him from later throwing himself in front of a charging rhino to protect his clients) it did nothing to dampen his passion for the great outdoors and despite his physical handicap he has managed to be one of those fortunate people whose childhood delights have turned out to become his professional concerns.

Having, literally, escaped from the jaws of death — but losing his job — Bakkes decided to journey through Africa before relocating to Namibia where he has lived for the past decade, working first for the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) in the Kaokoveld and then as a safari operator conducting ecotours along the Skeleton Coast and in Damaraland.

Living in one of Africa’s last true wilderness areas — where threatened species like the black rhino are still able to roam freely outside the protective confines of game parks and private sanctuaries — Bakkes writes about his experiences in this harsh environment in a stripped-down, economical prose style that manages to capture the desolation and magic of the landscape.

His writing is evocative and informative and he has produced a highly readable, honest and humorous account of a life spent beyond the fringes of civilisation.

Anthony Stidolph

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.