Looking for a perfect photogenic termite mound

06 April 2013

We were making good progress on our drive from Swakopmund to Windhoek, and I was still thinking about my encounter with the pretty yellow flowers, when something else captured my attention.

“What are those strange brown pillars next to the road?” I asked.

“They are termite mounds,” explained Richard. “Sometimes they have a pale brown colour, and sometimes they are a lovely reddish colour. It depends on the soil in the area.”

“So are there actually termites living in them?”

“Not always. Many are empty, having been abandoned.”

“How about we find one for Flat Kathy, so that we can photograph her next to it?” suggested Reggie.

An extraordinary landscape
An extraordinary landscape

So, for the next 30 to 40 kilometres, we kept a close eye on the roadside, looking out for the perfect termite mound. We were looking for one that was tall and well-built, that wasn’t half-demolished, that wasn’t inaccessible behind a fence or overgrown by bushes and acacia thorn trees, and that was close enough so that we didn’t have to traipse through too much veld.

Reggie also insisted that it had to be ‘photogenic‘.

Eventually, just as I was starting to wonder whether we would ever find the perfect termite mound to meet all the criteria, we found one!

We pulled over onto the verge, and scrambled through knee-high grasses – and duwweltjies – to reach it. Some thoughtless person had stuffed a beer bottle into the side of the mound, and a few more bottles littered the veld all around it, but in all other respects it was perfect.

Richard agrees to lift me up, and to create a sense of scale for Reggie's photo
Richard agrees to lift me up, and to create a sense of scale for Reggie’s photo

2 thoughts on “Looking for a perfect photogenic termite mound

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