The Travellers

The Selfie Safari

Issue 4 - 2016
By Fiona Neill · Illustration Damien FlorÉbert cuypers
Issue 4 - 2016
By Fiona Neill · Illustration Damien FlorÉbert cuypers

Joe and Ally are learning a few bush survival skills on the second week of their safari to the Maasai Mara. A guide explains how to work out the height of an elephant based on a footprint found close to the camp perimeter, but the honeymooning couple are more focused on calculating the perfect distance for a selfie.
“Step left, I mean right, go back a couple of inches and lean out, I mean in,” instructs Ally. Joe loses his balance trying to get the perfect angle and the track is destroyed.
“Don’t worry,” says Ally, kneeling to rub it out completely, “I can easily draw another. I’m very artistic.”
The following morning the disgruntled guide suggests they at least leave the selfie stick at camp when they go out into the bush, but Joe and Ally explain that they commissioned an especially long one for truly epic views.
“So it’s just us and the big five,” explains Joe. Ally is too busy applying her make-up in the back of the Land Rover to get involved.
“I’m going for a truly natural look for maximum authenticity,” she says, after about half an hour experimenting with Charlotte Tilbury mascara. Unfortunately she isn’t ready in time for a shot with an elephant in the background.
A few hours into their quest, the guide obligingly stops to let them get up close and personal with a steaming pile of fresh lion dung. He tells them enthusiastically as they prostrate themselves on the ground that it is the smelliest excrement on the continent.
“This is just so Bear Grylls, isn’t it?” says Ally, managing to stop holding her nose for five seconds while they take the picture, but Joe is too busy retching to respond.
During their tour of a Masai village later that day, Ally and Joe learn the art of making fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together. “Ooh, let’s get a shot of us eating our goat stew,” says Ally, hunting around for the selfie stick, as a smell of burning plastic rises from the campfire. “Oh, what a terrible shame,” says their guide, with the faintest hint of a smile. “I think Sankale used the wrong stick.”

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