Our projects ZebraSkin.eu, isn’t your usual Internet shop, it isn’t even a shop, and it’s not always internet either. We do not simply deal with the selling off of artefacts and hides, but strive to bring the exotic and wild side of Africa, her myths and legends, her rumours, fears and realities a little closer to you.
We live in the South African Savannah, known as the ‘Bush’, we are European (and Boer) guys, guides, huntsmen and rangers and we sincerely consider ourselves as Euro-Afrikaners. Often, upon reading the usual sweet slogan coming from a tour operator promising "exotic holiday in far-away wild corners of the Earth", we quietly chuckle to ourselves, whilst gently supping on a bottle of renowned local dark beer, Castle Milk Stout, or some homemade spirits mampoer, accompanied by a salty hippo biltong.
Satellite internet, whose monthly subscription costs as much as a second-hand small car, brings us news of the world and our homeland, where we sometimes go visiting. An unregistered revolver lies under the pillow, bearing the same name as the Czech motorbike CZ, a registered rifle .458 - "the first calibre for elephants" is hidden in the safe, the electric fence is turned on; the black workers have left for their townships. The roar of a lioness can be heard roughly 20 metres from the bed, the vile coughing howl of the hyena and the compulsory "anti-malarial" ventilator humming above the bed are all just night time sounds.
It is possible to listen to the wonderful Afrikaans singer, Karen Zoid’ on the computer, or just put on great old favourites such as the Amy MacDonald... Any of which are much better by far, than watching “Emmanuel” for the 100th time.
What a great thing Internet is! Bringing funny letters from friends and acquaintances to the mailbox email@example.com "Do you think you could bring back a lion’s skull?", "An’ ‘ow much does a quagga hide cost with delivery to Berlin?", "How do you hunt for leopards in your neck of the woods?" We do in fact have answers to all these questions, but they more than likely wouldn’t be appreciated by our friends around old Europe.
The quagga became extinct 80 years ago, lions skulls are subject to CITES certification and local authorities’ approval, and a legal hunt for leopards with export of the captured trophy thereafter, roughly adds up to about the same price as the little cars one finds in Paris known by the name of ‘Cayenne pepper’.
I am aware that our project is of interest to many different people, including the owners of cars known as Pepper, and friends and others who own cars a little more “Charizma”-tic. All of whom, (you), however, share the same dream and love for Africa and this is really wonderful!!
Africa is a poison, which gets into the blood of certain human individuals for their whole lives, rather like some sort of chronic Malaria (that’s interesting, does that really exist?). When you are there (here), you hate it. You hate the locals, their laziness, the conditions of the lives of white people in these parts, the climate, the traffic, the food and so on and so forth. Then, when you leave, after about a month and a half, you start to yearn for her blackness with lazy niggers, for the climate, for the left-sided, right-hand-drive traffic, for braai (barbecues) and boerwors (farmers’ sausage) with arjay and so on and so forth.
Please feel free to write to us about anything you wish. It may well be that one of us is currently in London, Rome or Tallinn and we could meet up, over an Irish coffee and chat about the advantages of a .500 calibre Nitro over a .600 Soft Nose or about the characteristics of water reservoirs in the Karu semi-desert, about the last ANC elections or the technical construction of bush-men’s masks. We may also let you into a few secrets of buying a safari lodge or a hunting farm in Africa, help you select and run one, if you’re well off enough to be able to afford them.
We don’t like telling stories about shooting animals and hunting, we call this by their scientific terms of culling or cropping and for us it a matter of safeguarding the life of other animals, as well as our own, and a part of the daily work on any nature reserve or hunting farm. There are some fellows among our friends and acquaintances that have a tally of 2 to 3 thousand elephants, thousands of rhinos and other such small rodents, however, this is not a matter of their nor our pride, but аn indicator of the level of proficiency of the ranger, who is still alive after working under such conditions in the wilderness of the bush with a triple-charged rifle.
We pay a subscription and actively participate in the work of the rangers’ trade union communities, the FGASA, GRAA; We are on the look out for bullet-proof vests free of charge in our greater homeland, even if they are past their sell-by date for our ranger brothers in their small homelands in Angola and Congo, where their lives are subject to greater dangers, than would be if there were working in our part of the woods. We sometimes have to open fire on poachers, acting on instruction and trained reflexes, "Drop your ** gun!", however, we do ponder sometimes over whether it is worth shooting an impala or better just to be contented with tinned fish and avocado for supper. We face issues with visas and other bureaucratic moments which are typical for white people in new Africa.
We would like to help preserve the nature in Africa, which can still be preserved, sometimes even in defiance of local populations, who it would seem are intent on exterminating it.
We’re not just some plain old boring sales reps, we really are pleasant happy Euro-Afrikaner chappies, rangers. Let’s protect nature together!
© ZebraSkin.eu, 2013
© Tokkroos Safari, 2013