Your Bush Lavatory!

It goes without saying that at some stage in your self-drive safari, nature will call and you will have no choice but to jump out of the car and find somewhere to relieve yourself. This will throw up several problems as there are very few public lavatories in the bush and if there were you may not really want to go inside! So you have no option but use any cover you can find.

I have an enduring memory of my husband running urgently behind some bushes outside Chobe National Park, clutching a loo roll, and me shouting “don’t get eaten by a lion and watch out for snakes”. These things happen!

Joking apart there is a real problem here because you are not allowed out of the car in National Parks unless you are in designated areas, which are not always there when you urgently need them, so my advice is to make sure you can see and hear around a good-sized area, so if game or almost worse “game drivers” were to appear out of nowhere you have some warning. Once you have stopped at a suitable spot you then can go right by the car.

If the issue is of a more serious nature, then the nearest bush may be called for, but please do be really careful. You do not want to share your loo with a sleeping lion or a lazy Puff adder.

I once was with a big group of VIPs in Botswana when nature called, so as they were looking at a herd of elephants in the distance, off I went to pee, somehow I managed to circle round and to my horror, my chosen my spot was right in their view, something I only discovered when I stood up.

This goes back to my advice about ladies wearing skirts in the bush, it makes modesty so much easier.

There may be times when everything gets a bit more serious, then a trowel or spade, a loo roll and a box of matches are called for. Some top-end self-drive companies provide a neat little kit with all these and a bottle of hand sanitiser in them. (Again you get what you pay for).

Either way, you simply choose an area where you are not likely to set the dry grasses and bush on fire, dig a small hole and use it as a loo. Once finished you carefully set fire to the paper making sure it will not be taken on fire by the wind. Weigh it down with a bit of sand or a stone, once burnt, cover the evidence up with dirt. Burning the paper ensures that it will not be dug up and be taken by the wind. There is nothing worse than that sight when on a game drive. Just horrid! And sadly it happens.

So my advice is if you are “caught short”, hold on to it, if you can until you are out of the parks and in a safer place or take your chance and just go where you can. So briefly, there are a few rules above for when the devil drives, but be really careful when leaving the car, you do not want to die for your modesty. I have never heard of a lavatory related attack but I feel sure it has happened at some time!