Safari Fire - Dreaming of a BBQ

Safari Fire - Dreaming of a BBQ

The sun was just above the trees going down on its way to sleep for the night. The birds had already left the trees around our camping spot, flying to their nests and everything became quiet. We had been to the ablution block to have a nice hot shower. We washed off the dust and perspiration that built up on our bodies. It had been a very hot day driving around the game reserve. Of the big five, we counted only three species. Buffalo, Elephant and Lion. Rhino and Leopard had eluded us. Maybe tomorrow, but all I could think about was an ice-cold beer, a barbecue and relaxing in an easy chair next to the fire.

While Vanessa prepared the meat and salads, I set up the firelighter, wood and charcoal on the barbecue stand, swung the steel grid above the iron plate that holds it all at about waist height, set it alight, Cracked open beers for her and myself. I carefully placed 3 charcoal skulls on top of the fire to add to this mystic atmosphere, and just as I did that a lion roared in the distance. What a great life. Vanessa joined me and we sat on our camp chairs sipping our beer. "My God!" she grasped as she spotted the skulls and her mind struggled to join the dots. I laughed as i took another sip of my beer. We sat there watching the fire burning up through the wood to the charcoal and out the eye of the skull.

The sun had set, and it was dark. The charcoal was now glowing red. Time to put the Steak, Chops and sausage on the grid, set high enough to avoid over cooking. Rump steaks were cut five centimeters thick and marinated in a special sauce to increase their natural flavors and tenderness. Placed on the hottest section of the grid to char the surface and seal the juices in, then for slower cooking till they were perfectly medium rare and juicy. The chops and sausage put on the grid afterwards and left sizzling till they turned dark brown.

We erected our tent next to the security fence to see any animal that ventured close. Many others in the park had done the same. At around seven in the evening when the smell of meat cooking filled the air around the camp it brought the hyenas looking for easy pickings. Signs around the fence warned visitors that anybody caught feeding the Hyenas by throwing meat over the fence would be heavily fined.

Few visitors took the warning serious, so the Hyenas came every evening, whooping as they ran with their awkward gait up and down along the fences looking for any scrap of meat thrown there. After all the fires went out the Hyenas slinked away back into the black African night everything went quiet again, except for the sound of an occasional distant roar of a lion. This all added to the hypnotic atmosphere of the Game reserve.

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