Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rare animals of Botswana, Part I: the rich guy

The wildlife of Botswana is big and diversified. This landlocked nation in Southern Africa gives shelter to a huge range of nice and helpful species including beetles, grasshopers, flies, mosquitoes, HIV-carrier monkeys and man-charging elephants.
The birdlife is particularily interesting there with its bataillon of green-backed herons and pel's fishing owls that actually interest no one apart from Kalahari-born tour guide Dantes Liebenberg and his starving cat.

Among all this colorful abundance, there are some unlucky under-populated species who must fight for survival on a daily basis. Abandonned by nature, they're too short in numbers to go for group hunting, they're too weak to defend against hungry predators. As a consequence they must hide night and day in their sky-high glass-towers. They can't travel across the land but by using private planes. They have to sit in the back of limousines to skim through the streets of Gaberones, the capital of Botswana.

You know of course who I'm talking about: the rich guy. Even if Botswana ranks pretty well economically by African standards, the rich guy must be on his guard whenever he risks himself out of his only safe spot: the five-star hotels of Phakalane.

As soon as he reaches one of the villages circling the city, he may come face to face with a vicious Bantou speaking the setswana. This deadly encounter cannot be settled by force. American dollars can sometimes do the job, but not always. Sometimes the greedy Bantou, emboldened by the backing of his 76 brothers, asks for more: gold watch, mobile phone, leather shoes... And the rich guy has no other choice than to lay on the floor in a posture of submission. But even that won't always save his life...

That's it for this episode. Coming soon, the next endangered species of Bostwana: the country boy

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