Wife of man missing in Botswana hopeful

2011-10-11 10:08

Johannesburg - The wife of a Lydenburg farmer who went missing in Botswana's Chobe game reserve last month still hopes he will be found, even though the air search for him has been called off, The Star reported on Tuesday.

"I still live in hope because they have not found a single thing of his - not the bottle cap from the water or his watch," said Lorraine Bullen, as police and nature experts continued the search for 80-year-old John Bullen.

The couple were on holiday and had hoped to stay at a camp in Savuti, but when they got there discovered it had closed down. The men they met at the campsite said they should head west for a short cut to the next camp, at Kasane.

"We kept driving and the road deteriorated really badly. We met another group of men and they told us to continue driving straight on the road," she said.

Got stuck

Their Land Rover got stuck in a river bed and so the next day, September 14, Mr Bullen went to get help.

He took an axe, a compass, five litres of water, two tins of fruit and some Provitas, but had not been seen since.

Mrs Bullen survived on small sips of water, soup and Provita biscuits before a group of tourists, also lost, found her, pulled the vehicle out of the sand, and took her to a military base for help.

She told The Star that on the last day she was stranded, she prayed.

"It was getting dark when I said to the Lord: 'If you are going to save me, save me now. But if I must go take me now'.

"The next thing I saw was two Nissan double cab bakkies and I started crying."

She said her husband had "very good stamina for a man his age", but was worried he could not last long in the bush.

  • Naphtaly - 2011-10-11 10:24


  • Lee - 2011-10-11 10:35

    @Naphtaly is it dangerous and do you think there is hope for him?

      DW - 2011-10-11 10:56

      Lee it is a beautiful nature reserve. There are lots of elephants and predators around. It is now almost a month since his disappearance. He only had some fruit and provitas with him. He was 80 years old. I doubt that they will find him alive, if they find him at all. In nature there is often absolutely nothing left of a carcass - the hyenas even eat the bones. A really sad situation

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-10-11 10:55

    ...Sadly, he was probably eaten by lions.

  • Solo Vapor - 2011-10-11 11:05

    Sad to say but he probably didn't make it.Chobe is not a walk in the park. First rule of survival was broken. Never leave the vehicle.

  • tebogo.keitheile - 2011-10-11 11:56

    this is sad! there are so many lions in that area though, eish, how absolutely horrifying! its a beautiful place, yes, but dangerous as hell! poor guy. its a shame when you think that he would have survived had they stuck together!

      curVV - 2011-10-11 17:31

      yes but they were off the beaten track and had those Dutchies not arrived she would have died as well. the problem was that he miscalculated their position and the distance to camp as 37km when in fact it was 120km.

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