So, here we are. Opening camp after a closure of several months for the rainy season.
The usual things have happened. Most of the staff have suddenly found reasons to be urgently needed elsewhere, those that haven’t have got malaria, someone has stolen a beautifully embroidered loo-roll holder from one of our guest tents, (we can only presume that someone with great taste has a rather well-appointed mud hut in the vicinity) and, in our absence, the travel agencies have been urgently scouring Hitler Youth rallies, senior amateur dramatics societies and the local prisons to find us our first guests of the season.
Meanwhile, some idiot thought that the below was a good advert for a close neighbouring camp, as though the savannahs are a gigantic showroom for bathroom fittings with a two hundred kilogram cast-iron claw-foot bathtub here, a porcelain bidet there.
“You can just make out the young leopard between the trees, see how alert she is to the hyenas presence? She’s hoping the smell of her kill won’t attract their attention. But if I can just have your attention for a moment, I would like to show you the Austen range of claw-foot baths, normally £399 but I understand there’s a offer on the moment: £299 including the hurricane lanterns and spears.”
For some of our current guests, I fear this would be the highlight of their trip. I’m always glad when people are pleased with the accommodation, but we’re hosting an American family who were over-enthusiastic about everything in the tent whilst I was showing them around.
“OH MY GOD! Is this the toilet?” they asked, pointing at the toilet. After I’ve confirmed that it is definitely a toilet, they call the rest of the family over. “Jackson! Look at the toilet!” Six of us crowdily gather close, reverently staring at a toilet. A hand falteringly reaches out to touch but, losing courage at the last moment, sinks back to its owner’s side.
Joe shakes his head, laughing, “That is the strangest toilet I’ve ever seen!” Everyone, save me, nods in agreement. “It’s a toilet! In a tent!”
I cannot deny it.
Shannon gets our her iPhone, “Would it be weird if I took a photo?”
Nope, believe me, someone taking a photo would be the least weird thing about this moment.
Bill goes to leave the room when something catches his eye, “OH MY GOD! JULIE! Check out the toilet-roll holder!”