(This is an extract from my upcoming book on my years at Vaal Reefs Exploration and Mining Company – most of those 14 years were pretty rough; but there were some happy times too)
Maurice (James) and I and Denis Simpson started talking about a fishing trip to Henties Bay in Namibia. We constituted a fishing club and soon had an eager group planning the trip. Henties was on the West Coast in Namibia and was renowned as a fishing mecca.
Bossie Boshoff, Peter Turner, Alistair Barr and Andries Oberholzer were some of our fellow hengelaars – some were quite serious about fishing, others were mainly there for the beer (no names, but you can guess)
Most of us were amateur fishermen, but enjoyed the associated conviviality and the 4000 km round trip across Botswana and Namibia was a great success – some of us even caught some fish! Maurice and I were also keen bird watchers.
We were joined by Bushy Going from TEBA (the mines employment bureau) which was a major coup. TEBA had fully equipped and serviced manager’s houses in very remote areas of Southern Africa and we managed to visit 3 of the most exotic and exciting of these camps.
Shakawe was on the banks of the Okavango River, near the Caprivi Strip. There were boats, wonderful tiger and bream fishing and a rainbow array of birds and wildlife. There were also crocodiles and hippos…
That trip alone deserves a separate book.
Kosi Bay was situated in a kwaZulu Natal reserve about 200 metres from the Kosi Bay estuary – the only house for miles. We caught no fish over 3 days!
Pafuri is a private rest camp at the northern tip of the Kruger National Park where the Narina Trogon was spotted.
Peter Turner’s family had a house in Morgan’s Bay on the Transkei Coast. We caught only one fish between the two cold fronts that passed over dumping rain by the ton.
We were forced to eat our bait (squid/calamari) – quite good actually! (although our powers of discrimination were somewhat diminished…)
These fishing trips entailed many planning meetings and conviviality and provided great stress relief, during quite tough times.