Bushveld, Desert and Dogs by Christiaan Bakkus. Published by Zebra
Another highly recommended read about nature, wildlife and the
wilderness areas of Southern Africa. Along with a good insight to
the local inhabitants.
Christiaan is a devoted game ranger working in Kruger National
Park, Botswana, Uganda, but mostly the book is about him, his wife
and his loving dog, Tier, running lodges and game ranging in the
North West of namibia, in the Rooiplaat and Skeleton Coast area.
It is an excellent tale about all his adventures, the desert, the
floods, and the amazing desert animals. Elephant, Lion, Black
Rhinos, Gemsbok (Onyx), Zebra, Impala, Brown Hyena (Strand Wolf)
and many others.
It is well written with humour and huge affection and devotion to
the craft of Game Ranging.
Tier, his little Jack Russell Terrier seemed to have the proverbial
9 lives of a cat.
Tier means Tiger in Afrikaans and he certainly displays that type
of bravery and courage throughout the book. He is an excellent
watch dog and appears to be “reasonably” obedient.
In the book Tier is very nearly killed on many occasions. He is
kicked by a Zebra, bitten by a Honey Badger, run over by a
Landrover, bitten by a Snake, attached by a leopard and Bull
Terrier on separate occasions, all of which he survived with
serious injuries. At times, Christiaan did not think he would
There is a very interesting part about Christiaan doing Safari
tours to the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda.
At one point they rescue a “Just born” Gemsbok, whose mother had
abandoned him due to the drought. The baby Gemsbok was bottle fed
and was called Jakob. It followed them around like a dog. Finally
at 7 months Jakob’s very sharp horns were becoming dangerous and so
he was led daily into the bush for some months, into the local
Gemsbok herds until he got used to them and became part of the
It is truly a superb book about this very interesting part of
Southern Africa. A section deals with the Caprivi strip (named
after General Leo von Caprivi) and the Cunene River, floods and
hikes through the gorges.
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Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
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