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The Waterberg and Eugène Marais

9 January 2014

 

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Eugène Nielen Marais was a pioneer of animal behaviour and has been described as having advanced it by many decades worldwide. However, he was always plagued by an addiction to morphine which was regarded as a wonder drug without such addictive properties when he was a young man. He often tried to escape the tentacles of morphine by going to live in remote places where he pursued a wide spectrum of research on natural history. Thus he once found peace and a temporary haven in the Waterberg where the varied wildlife fascinated him and where he did some of his most notable research. His Waterberg sojourn, with intermittent periods of absence, allowed him to travel widely and leave footprints everywhere, and he may well at some stage have crossed Shayamanzi or camped near the Tamboties River.

From his childhood in Pretoria, Eugène Marais was attracted to the Waterberg as a place where civilization met the wilderness, with the Nile River as the frontier. Anyone who crossed this river was thought to have crossed beyond the echoes of civilization. He first came to the Waterberg to prospect for minerals, travelling from what is now... (To see more become a Green subscriber)

 

Reference

Walker, C en J du P Bothma 2005. The Soul of the Waterberg. Houghton: Waterberg Publishers en African Sky Publishing, pp 117 - 152.

article by: Prof J du P Bothma

 

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