I’d walk the Kalahari Desert if they’d let me. Herds of springbok would race by, pronking in the insane and magnificent way they do, showing me how strong and healthy they are so I wouldn’t even attempt to catch and eat them. Oryx would watch me carefully, then run off, and turn back to see what I’m up to again and again. Hartebeest and wilderbeest would lie on the blonde grass in the shade of trees, not too far from an ostrich taking a dust bath, and run away only if I got too close. My only problem would be the lions.

Kgalagadi (local spelling of Kalahari) Park rules are very strict, and I have managed to break some. It was particularly unpleasant and embarrassing when the park manager, with whom I’d had a very pleasant talk that very morning, caught me sitting on the roof of our car photographing a cheetah with four cubs dining on a freshly killed springbok. According to the rules you are not even allowed to open your door, let along get out of the car. This posed a problem at one point when our car wouldn’t start after a long photo shoot of a lion pride. But if you ask me, I’d leave the getting-eaten-or-not decision to the park visitors.

cheetah and cub dining on springbok

At dusk, the light doesn’t reach the dunes any longer and they are pitch black. Only the dry trees and shrubs break the dark horizon line with their thin silhouette. The sky is bright orange, then white, and finally blue from its lightest shade to deep navy with only Venus shining brightly like a glam beauty mark in the early night sky.