South African English is lekker! Words like babelas, bakgat, chommie, donner and windgat have become increasingly accepted for everyday usage. I particularly like the word abba, which means to carry a child on one’s back and comes from the Khoisan, Africa’s true nomads.
Sitting around a harde kool braai fire, I listened to the tale of how the Abba Safari Camper came to be born. Lifelong campers Jos and Elsabé Joubert decided to call their camper ‘the Abba Camper’, after Jos had snapped a picture of a mother baboon abba’ing her baby in the Kruger Park.
The couple originally owned a tent, rooftop tent and bush caravan. When the kids flew the nest, the couple took a trip to Tanzania in an off-road caravan. ‘It was the nearest we ever came to a divorce in our 30 years of marriage!’ say Jos, with a laugh.
After that trip, he sat down and − as our politicians are wont to put it − ‘applied his mind’. The result was the first Abba Safari Camper, designed in 2010. It incorporated all the lessons Jos and Elsabé had learnt from a lifetime of camping in the African bush.