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All Fenced In

You are deep in Elephant country. You are on foot. You feel alive, because your senses are in overdrive. Elephants with young can be unpredictable and dangerous.

As a photo-journalist doing a story on the South African borderline you've heard there is an 'informal' border crossing hidden deep in the bush. So you are on foot because you are going 'local'.

Following local trails that crisscross the tall elephant grass that contains, wild African elephants.

You heart is racing. It's not just the elephants you worry about. It's the South African border police, and since you are about to enter into Mozambique illegally, you worry about what's waiting on the other side. The Mozambican military on patrols with AK 47's are a health and freedom hazard. But you take your chances, because you feel inclined to do so, for the integrity of the story.

First you walk through what looks like a border post, but learn it's nothing more than a break in a game fence. One that allows people, leopards, baboon, kudu and warthog to pass, but deters elephants.

No the 'unofficial' border crossing you are told is still another 2 km hike through tall grass. Bush that is alive with the sounds of tuskers.

Another broken fence appears, this time it's purposely been busted apart. You climb over the rusting barbed wire and realize you have now entered Mozambique. Illegally!

You feel alive! Way more alive than you did a few minutes ago, because now you are escaping one life and one country to live a new life in a new country.

The bush gets thicker. Your heartbeat faster.

You walk around a heavy clump of trees, and then to your surprise, you see a khaki tent, and a bare chested man in dull green camouflage pants and black boots standing in front of it. He's pointing an AK 47 at you.

You feel alive, and wonder how long you have left to live!

-the Escape Artist 25/03/23

#africa #illegalimmigrants #illegals #borderpatrols #borderline #southafrica #mozambique

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