What sticks in your mind about Africa?

Ontario Hunter

AH legend
Apr 16, 2023
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Besides the the hunt itself, what sight/sound/smell takes you instantly back to Africa?

Sound: For me it's the song of the Cape turtle dove. They seem to be everywhere, especially in the morning.

Smell: There is a shrub in South Africa that is very much like our North American sagebrush. The odor is almost overpowering as I walk through the stuff. Hopefully, someone can help me with a name.


Sensation: Acacia thorns. Need I say more?


Sight: The veldt when it is green and bursting with wildflowers.


Taste: Biltong. It's a dried lightly spiced jerky without the smoke. Some is very good, some is like shoeleather ... tough and tasteless. Never know what you'll get with that next bite. The hunt is on!
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Cape turtle dove! You hear it in every country. Every time I'm watching a hunting show, I typically hear them as well and it immediately takes me back!
That smell is not of Western US sagebrush but something equally pungent- don't know the source or could be combination of sources? Also smoke that covers major portions of the continent during the burning season- not like being near a forest fire here but more subtle. Yes the doves, and in certain areas the "bump... bump... bumpbumpbump" of the ground hornbill drumming at first light in the morning. There are too many unique sights, sounds and smells to list and do them justice.
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Has to be the smells of a lingering bush fire and the sounds of the hammerheads flying around and other bird life.
The Southern Cross

The sand in Limpopo

The Indian Ocean in Eastern Cape

The hornbills in the camel thorn trees

Of course, the sunsets

By far and away above all, the kindness, generosity, and hospitality of the people
I'll have to say the peace & tranquility of being away from everything, no TV, no phone, no news.

The nights with all the stars, just amazing.

The clean air.

The smell of the fire burning at the fire pit.

The sound in the bush during the day, and at night.

I love it all, and miss it all, and maybe that is what makes us crave to go back. It's a majestic place.
That dove is called the "our Father, our Father" bird in the Zambezi valley. Bush TV with mopane fire is nice. The smell of elephant urine, or buffalo dung are memorable. The distinctive clatter of a small Diesel engine in a Landcruiser as well as the smell. The complete darkness/silence for DEEP sleep. If you are lucky enough, a lion's roar!
+1 on the Milky Way!
@PARA45 nailed it! Plus all the amazing animals - I studied up on animals before my first safari but still had to ask my PH “what is that!?!” A couple dozen times a day.
The smell of a herd of cape buff 20-30 yards away will stick with me forever.
The campfire at night
The variety of birds, animals and plants
The sweet sound of “let’s walk” and “ on the shoulder” whispered by your Ph
The miserable worthless spawn of Satan stalk busting Grey Lourie commonly called the Go-away bird.

The crunch of Tsetse fly as you roll it across your arm or leg.

The quiet but somewhat meaty snap made by pulling off a leach while wading for a buffalo in the Zambezi Delta.
The campfire at night
The variety of birds, animals and plants
The sweet sound of “let’s walk” and “ on the shoulder” whispered by your Ph

Your last sentence brought back memories of Wik saying that to me. ;)
The vast amount of Chinese "Investment" in it.
Sunrises, which seemed to me more spectacular than the sunsets...
Night skies...
The abundance of bird life...
The taste and sight of spekboom...
Specific bird? blue eared starlings, and their stunning iridescence...
The closeness required for buffalo...
The odd gaits of many animals, such as black wildebeests and gemsboks...
The incredible friendliness of the people...
The incredible level of poverty for so many...
The level of trash around larger towns and some of the roadways...

There is incredible good and some bad in every place, and Africa is no different. I am probably forgetting 10,000 things, but these are some of the things that popped to mind.

All the bird noises and activity at a water hole as the day gives way to darkness.
The smell and sounds of the buffalo as you track them, waiting for it all to come together...
The stars at night...
For me, in Tanzania - the GOOD: once in the bush hearing hippos & lions at night, the endless wilderness, No highways, no towns, no noise except for animal & bird sounds, no fences or private property encountered, all seemed Wild.
The BAD: Dar es Salam - the smoke, smell, poverty, & crime. The contrast between a Country so rich in wildlife & natural sources and yet its people so poor & impoverished.
I hope Safari hunting continues to be popular in Africa, the revenue really makes a difference to many people
All of you nailed it! Standing in Africa feels different from standing in any other place.

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I like the Tillie in my picture. They are supposed to fit loose (2 fingers inside hat band), have mesh for cooling, and hold their shape after washing.