At Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana (http://mashatu.com) there is a small, stunted baobab tree clinging to life at the end of a rocky ridge near the Maloutse River in the west of the reserve. It’s a quiet, eerie place; the silence in the evenings broken only by the calls of jackal and hyenas getting ready for the night’s forage.
On the west side of the tree, facing the setting sun, the initials CJR and ADS are carved into the the bark, and some say that they belong to Cecil John Rhodes and his secretary/friend Antonio da Silva. Certainly Rhodes was in the region in the late 1800s surveying a route for his famous (infamous?) railway line that was to run from Cape to Cairo. Who knows though…
It was also the site of an ancient settlement, the Mmamagwa people lived and thrived here around 1200 AD. Alas, they are no more but their spirit remains in this desolate place.
It’s one of our favourite spots and we have spent many an hour there over the years, just enjoying the piece and solitude.
See more of our Mmamagwa and Rhodes’ Baobab pix here.