Nikki Meyer's "Game For Anything" Takes You Behind The Scenes of Southern Africa's Game Reserves
Game For Anything by Nikki Meyer - If you're interested in finding out what it's really like behind the scenes of Southern Africa's game reserves this true story is for you.
A chance bet took Nikki from town life, with a wardrobe crammed with brightly coloured high-heeled shoes, and transported her deep into the African bush; her size five feet encased in practical if inelegant hiking boots.
Game for Anything follows Nikki’s adventures and misadventures as she got to grips with living amongst axe-wielding staff, fires, floods and wild animals, especially elephants; so many elephants…
The story starts in Botswana, and continues in the Kruger National Park to South Africa, where it becomes that of her family; with the addition of a conservationist husband, and later their young son Martin. When the changing political landscape threatens their blissful lifestyle, their roles and goals shift, and returning to the bush becomes more of a necessity than a luxury.
Excerpt From The Book:
Within a few minutes of snuggling down between the sheets, I was asleep.
The peculiar sound of plastic shopping bags being rubbed together woke me. It was close. So close that I couldn’t tell whether it was inside or outside my tent. I didn’t move, my limbs rigid, my ears and mind trying to make sense of the scrunching. No amount of imagination could place it in context. I listened for a few more minutes, my body warm despite the cold damp sweat of fear and my muscles aching with tension.
It was pointless just lying there. I might as well face up to whatever it was. My fingers grasped for the torch I’d left on the floor. Nothing. I leant further out of bed, the cool air on my torso making me feel vulnerable. Got it. I quickly switched it on, the beam cutting a swathe through the darkness. A quick glance around the tent revealed no sign of immediate danger. Then I saw it. The side of my tent bulging, swelling and collapsing, moving in time with the loud rustling. I eased quietly out of bed breathing slowly through my mouth and padded barefoot to the tent door, mentally forcing co-operation from my cowardly and reluctant body. I had to pass within a meter of the slowly pulsating tent side to reach the door.
As I pushed it open a crack a stage whisper emanated from next door. “Stay inside Nikki. Don’t come out. It’s an elephant.”
I was keen to whisper back “what’s it doing?”, but there was something about standing close enough to touch an elephant in the middle of the night that put me off making any further sound, (okay, so there was a bit of canvas between us, but let’s be realistic here, for a town girl, that’s not nearly enough).
Looking around the room, I contemplated my options. Climbing back into bed was futile. Lying there would make me feel more vulnerable and sleep was definitely out of the question. I tiptoed to the corner of the tent furthest from the undulating canvas. That felt a bit better; there were at least three or four metres between me and the elephant. Big deal.
After standing there for a while, feeling silly, I decided that the bathroom was the most sensible option. Although not much further from the elephant, it had the advantage of fairly solid walls – and a toilet. I moved stealthily into the bathroom, where I perched on the cold hard toilet seat, listening to the big pachyderm rubbing himself against the side of the tent. After a few minutes of listening to my heartbeat and rasping breath competing with the elephant’s chafing against the canvas, the soft scrunch of dried leaves signified his otherwise eerily silent departure into the night.
I poked my head out of the tent door. Peter standing just in front of his tent pointed to a thin tree adjacent to mine.
“It was rubbing up against the apple leaf,” he said. That explained why he hadn’t fallen through the side of my tent. The tree had been the rubbing post; my tent just happened to be in the way.
If you're interested in reading more of "Game For Anything" you can check it out on amazon.com HERE
About The Author:
Nikki Meyer studied Public Relations at the Technikon in Durban, then in an about turn left the bright lights behind, to take up a position at a game lodge in Botswana. This heralded a new phase in her life, and she fell passionately in love with the bush – then later with a conservationist. Other than a short break of two and a half years, she has been living in game reserves since 1992, first in Botswana and now in the Kruger National Park, South Africa; where she and her husband, Gerrit, manage a 12 000 hectare concession, including the private game lodge Rhino Post Safari Lodge, and trails camp – Plains Camp.
Nikki fared well in writing projects during her studies at Technikon and later through Unisa, with her professors and lecturers encouraging her to utilize her writing skills professionally. She has written numerous letters, press releases and marketing material over the years, and has been encouraged by friends and family to put her experiences down in book format. After entering a short story competition in 1997, which was unfortunately cancelled, she was contacted by the competition judge and author Kobie Kruger, who urged her to write a book chronicling her experiences in the bush. The thought niggled for years at the back of her mind, and eventually with some prodding from her husband, has culminated in the writing of “Game for Anything.” This is her first book, but by no means her last, as she has already outlined a sequel to this, and has plans for a third.