Literary Lines: DJANGO
DJANGO : The Small Dog with the Big Heart by Peter Comley.
This book is not just about a dog, though Django was a very special dog, it is also about living in Botswana and guiding in some of the more remote areas of the Okavango Delta and Namibia. It is also about wild animals, eccentric people and has a strong conservation message.
Peter Comley, acknowledged as one of Africa’s leading professional wilderness guides, with over 30 years of exploring and taking people into often almost inaccessible areas, writes not only with passion about the wilds of Africa, but also with a great sense of humour.
However, the hero in this book is Django. A scruffy mutt whose father was a “well-known Jack Russell-about-town” and mother was a purebred Lhasa Apso. This little dog totally captured Peter, and his (now late) wife Salome’s heart. He also captured the heart of everyone else, and if he didn’t do it immediately, he put on his winning ways until he had done so.
But Django was not a little dog to tangle with. At six months old he went on a “walk” with Peter, Salome and friends, through the Okavango Delta, taking two weeks to hike from the extreme northern tip of Chief’s Island, across Moremi Game Reserve and on to Maun. During his life Django quickly learned about hippos, crocs, elephant, buffalo and snakes – and what fun it was to fly in a small plane, ride in a mokoro and enjoy game viewing from a safari vehicle.
Throughout the book Peter shares some of his knowledge of the wilds, how nature evolved to conserve itself, the importance of the eco-cycle, and various interesting and lesser known facts about the life that inhabits these wilderness areas.
Peter Comley’s descriptions are so realistic – we could smell the dust and beer of Maun in the early 80’s when life congregated around the Duck Inn. He brings to life the mysteries of the Tsodilo Hills whilst bemoaning the change in traditional culture the introduction of a local !Kung family who had been brought to the Hills as a tourist attraction had affected the people. The rhino poacher and furniture store manager will have you laughing aloud.
A thoroughly good read, with some coloured photographs and maps of their travels, Django will win many more hearts through this delightful book. Have some tissues handy at the end of the book – and have compassion for the insensitive…..!
Published by Jonathan Ball, ISBN 978 1 86842 598 3 it is also available directly from the author, Peter Comley, JPC Media & Consultancy (PTY) Ltd, firstname.lastname@example.org www.jpcafrica.com
Lesley Thomson Cell: 072 640 2737.