In 1991/2 Gwynn and I spent a year in the Okavango Delta running a luxury lodge called Delta Camp. During our time there we kept a journal, which 20 years later, is about to be published as a soft-cover book.
Called, Torn Trousers, it is named after one of the main characters, Matanta Tanjane, the deputy manager and professional practical joker who was a key figure in making the experience so memorable. His name, in Tswana, is Torn Trousers.
On this page you will find images of Noga Island, a map, video clips of our revisit in 2010 and samples of the book. It is due for release in the book stores in South Africa and via Amazon Kindle, all mid 2012.
Andrew S White
Click below to navigate through the page:
The book opens with what I think is some of the best writing I’ve ever done. But the truth is, the bulk of the book as written by me (Andrew) and then written properly by Gwynn.
There is a place so tranquil that the angels go there to rest. It is a place of such singular natural beauty that the lilies dress for dinner, yet the ebb and flow of its life-giving water is determined by a climate a thousand miles away, where the water level is high during times of drought and low in times of rain. At its heart is a river that seeks the sea, but never finds it. Instead it finds a plateau of sand, where it lies and slowly sinks. Animals great and small follow the river in its pursuit, in their own search of happiness. When they find it they stay. The water is sweet from its source to the place where it spills into the desert or is drawn into the atmosphere by the warmth of the sun. In tranquil places the fish go snorkeling. There are birds so numerous in colour and hue that it confuses the rainbows. Great herds of elephant, buffalo and antelope find their homes here and behind them the carnivores tread lightly. Trees that shade the young, are home to the snake and comfort the traveller. This is where my heart lies, in the Okavango.
Noga Island was about one and a half kilometers long and about half a kilometer wide. It is totally surrounded by water. The only way onto the island is by plane or boat. There are no running vehicles there.
The map below was drawn on the Apple Mac I used there. Click it for a larger view.
Download the Google Earth location (.kmz file) now. Open using Google Earth and it will take you to our magic island in the Okavango.
THE JOURNAL AND BOOK
As you can imagine, 20 years of writing this book has meant that we’ve given a lot of thought to the cover. Here are some early ideas. The name of the book has gone through a number of variations as well. Torn Trousers was an early thought, but then it moved to ‘Days In The Delta’ and even ‘Conquest of Paradise’. Click them for a larger view.
THE REVISIT 2010
Since 1992, when we left, we have made two revisits to Noga Island and the camp. The first was in 1994, five months before our first child was born, and the second was in 2010. We produced a short-length documentary of our most recent visit and it’s being edited now. It will be available on-line here mid 2012. Parts of this visit were broadcast as part of my TV show, 4WD-Take A Deep Breath.