Mara Serena: Staff Volleyball. Every day at four o’clock, as the convoy of tourist vehicles head out for their afternoon game drive, the electric generator is switched off. The sound of whirling computer fans in the office winds down to silence and is eventually replaced by the distant rumble of tractors pulling empty trailers. The Road Team make their slow return to Headquarters. They park, turn off their engines, and walk up the hill towards the staff compound to drink milky tea and play volleyball with the Serena waiters, mechanics and groundsmen for the last silent hour, until six, when the hum of the electric generator becomes background noise again.
Somewhere out in the reserve the diesel engine is started on a Landcruiser carrying five Japanese tourists. They wave goodbye to a pride of lions or a lone cheetah sat on a termite mound and their driver starts the journey back to the hotel. A cloud of dust rises up behind the speeding vehicle and changes colour from orange to brown in the setting sun.