Larry's Short Stories

Coffee Break in the African Bush

The sun is bright and my PH and I are standing in the shade enjoying our morning coffee.
The sun is bright and my PH and I are standing in the shade enjoying our morning coffee.

One of the greatest pleasures of an African Safari, for me at least, is the morning coffee break – it’s definitely one of the underrated joys of a Safari, and I highly recommend it to everyone. There’s no set time or place, just somewhere out in the bush; and of course there’s no guarantee that you’ll even have time for a coffee break, as hunting is always the mission so naturally it takes priority.
In Tanzania, since it’s close to the equator, we climb into the safari car and roll out of camp each morning just after 6:00 am. My mind starts thinking about a coffee break at 8:30 or 9:00 – unless of course we’re tracking elephant or buffalo -- or out of the car stalking something we plan to shoot.
Coffee break isn’t just about coffee; it’s also the opportunity to get a drink of water, take a restroom break and pile on the sunscreen. All these activities generally occur while the coffee is being prepared.
It’s almost always my responsibility to request the coffee break and sometimes I even have to insist on it – depending on where the PH wants to go that morning and what time he wants to be there.

I am not a big fan of instant coffee, but somehow it is different in Africa.
I am not a big fan of instant coffee, but somehow it is different in Africa.

Sometimes it’s cool, but other times, it’s quite warm. Based on the temperature, we look for a shade tree or direct sunshine. The driver serves as the official coffee maker; he stops the car in the middle of the dirt track, lowers the tail gate as a makeshift table, pulls out the dry box and whips up our cups of ‘high-test’ instant coffee. And there are always some cookies, or a piece of cake that the cook has prepared just for this occasion.
Our coffee may be served on the hood of the safari car, other times, we stand at the tailgate; even though we have chairs in the safari car, we never take the time to sit down. I have never counted the number of minutes, but it’s probably no more than ten or twelve and we’re back on the road, looking for tracks or trophies.
As we get started, I always get out a bag of candy and share it with the team. It truly is a refreshing break; now, I’m good till lunch!

Russell, our son, and I toasting to another great day on Safari.
Russell, our son, and I toasting to another great day on Safari.
Larry's Short Stories