National Geographic : 1964 Aug
on a gourd or a hollowed piece of wood that serves as a resonator. Plucked with the fingers, the mbira makes pleasing, plaintive music. Forest Provides Automobile Part While the mbira throbbed, the villagers talked quietly. Babies slept in slings on their mothers' backs. Somewhere in the enveloping black vastness, a jackal howled. The modern world seemed very far away. The spell was broken by the sound of an engine, and I saw lights coming toward us through the forest. "Njonjonjo!" cried the villagers. A car rolled into the clearing and out stepped the Tall One. It was the safari leader - towering, blond Werner von Alvensleben. I had heard much of this man. The preserve he 208 runs, bigger than Switzerland, draws the world's leading big-game hunters. Werner had a tool kit and a manner of su preme confidence. By the light of a kerosene lamp he probed the Toyota's gearbox until he withdrew two bits of metal. "Aha!" he exclaimed. "A sheared pin. Don't worry-we'll just make a new one." I wondered how a machined part could be manufactured in the middle of the African night. Werner spoke to the headman. A tribes man trotted off into the darkness and reap peared with a piece of ebony. With a jackknife Werner whittled the stick down to the heartwood and carved a substi tute pin. The Toyota ran beautifully with its makeshift part and got us safely to the con cession headquarters on the Save River. Silent cannon jut from Fort St. Sebastian, which repelled Arab, Dutch, and French attacks upon Mozambique Island. Boy near a cross-crowned sentry box gazes toward low-lying St. George Is land, where Da Gama anchored. Fort St. Sebastian, begun more than 400 years ago, commands the island's approaches. Outside its walls on the island's northeast tip sits a tiny whitewashed chap el. Jetties at right extend from the Islamic quarter. Warehouses crowd the shore beyond. Distant beaches outline the mainland across Mossuril Bay.