I have recently gotten back from some relaxing and enjoyable leave, and ready once again for some more exploration and adventures of the Selous with the guests at Beho Beho.
The other morning we set out on a historical walk across the battlefields from Selous Grave, heading towards camp. It is always difficult to comprehend or even picture that some of the battles of World War 1 even took place in the Selous Game Reserve, in front of Beho Beho’s doorstep. The walk was almost like we were going back in time, from when Frederick Selous was shot by a German marksman, to when his campaign came around the corner meeting the German regiment, awaiting their supplies and the start of the battle that ensued between the 25th Royal Fusiliers or the Old and Bold, and the German soldiers.
As we carried on our trek, looking at the tracks left behind by the animals the previous night and in the morning, the sun glistened over the white sand and grassy plains of the battlefields. Ahead of us we noticed the silhouetted shapes of a large herd of buffalo making their ominous way across the hills. As we observed their movements, one could image the herd of 200 buffalo being Selous’ 25th royal fusiliers, making their way over the undulating landscape, dodging bullets, jumping for cover and returning fire. The smell of gun powder, the scorching sun blazing overhead as the reflected rays, bounced off the calcrete soils and sunburnt one’s skin, whilst you defended your platoon and safeguarded your own life on the side of the allies.
As the herd of buffalo moved, the dominant bulls and cows in front following the pathfinder, pursued by the breeding herds in the centre and then the bachelor herds surrounding the sides of the herd, like a tank; and then came the old buffalo bulls; like the ‘old and bold’ would have.
Selous was in his sixties when he was offered the opportunity to join in the allied forces, and the troops he led were also well into their years, but determined and fit to undertake any battle.
After some historical day dreaming, we moved on, leaving the herd to carry on feeding undisturbed.
A magical historical walk, as we walked across the plains, passed the German trenches, stopping to look at birds, flora, the odd hippo and elephant, reminiscing of times gone by.
This is the beauty of the Selous Game reserve, not only does it offer you the beauty of the rolling and changing landscape, a diverse biodiversity, but also rich history.