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Do Read This Excerpt from Do NOT Take This Road…

Do NOT Take this Road to El-KaramaIn the winter of 2006, English-born Chris Harvie and his travelling companions commenced a 28 000 km road trip around Africa which would become the subject of the travelogue, Do NOT Take this Road to El-Karama.

The travellers meandered through Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zanzibar, Malawi and Namibia. Upon his return, Harvie bought and restored a historical house in Graaff-Reinet, where he wrote this book. Besides fulfilling his duties as hotelier, Harvie writes on food and travel on a freelance basis for the Sunday Times.

Chris Harvie has lived in South Africa since 1983. After two visits to South Africa, he abandoned his roots in the UK and his studies in French and Russian to manage a small Lowveld country hotel and eventually to build his own lodge near the Kruger National Park – from where this story commences. Enjoy an excerpt from the book and visit his website for accompanying photographs.

We were booked for dinner at Shiwa Ng’andu, The Africa House, that evening and what better way to prepare than to sit in a hot tub with all the other dinner guests beforehand?

The hot springs are sulphur-free (so no smell of rotten eggs) and water gurgles at perfect bath-temperature out of the loose sand and up into a pool 30m across and about a metre deep, dotted with hot rocks on which everyone sits.

Shaded by vast raffia palms and lush tropical vegetation and traversed by sobriety-testing loose stepping-stones along a weir, the pool fills up in the late afternoon with guests from the lodge and campers alike. Closer to nature you cannot get than pushing your leg down one of the sandy shafts, out of which the hot water is spurting. It felt primeval, as if your toes were about to be scorched on the earth’s core and you were all there was between Zambia and a major eruption.

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