We travel to Namibia nearly every year to visit my husband Peter’s brother, Swen on his farm in the Gobabis District, north-east of Windhoek and 1800 Km from Cape Town. This year’s visit turned out to be quite dramatic when a search was launched to find Peter, who went for a walk in the bush late in the afternoon with one of his brother’s dogs and got lost.

Swen and his wife Petra, who usually joined him for walks, were busy preparing for the monthly social gathering of the farmers’ society that evening. When Peter did not return after two hours, they left with their bakkie to search for him. He was nowhere to be found. They then called for help from the local farming community. Search teams went out and one of the farmers’ wives came to stay with me to calm me down, an ambulance was organised, in case he got hurt. I was worried, but stayed quite calm, because it was full moon and Peter also had one of the dogs on a leash with him. The dog would come home if something had happened to him. There are many cheetahs in the region – I was told that they do not attack humans. I did not quite believe that!

After about another two hours, around 10pm, the front door opened and in walked no one else but Peter, with the dog! He was surprised to hear that a search team was looking for him – he thought that we had already left for the braai. The search team and ambulance (still on its way), were informed. Everybody then came back to Swen’s house and the suspenseful evening ended with a pleasant gathering until very late.

Namibia experiences the worst drought in over 100 years. In the area where Swen lives the situation is not as serious. However, he regularly brings pellet food to his wild camp where there are fairly large numbers of Springbuck, Kudus and Gemsbuck. In the south there is absolutely no grass left, also no animals to be seen. When we drove back, we saw sheep trying to find something to eat along the roadside – three were already dead and were carried to the side. A heart-breaking scene!

Erika Knye