Down at Jika Jika Tavern


Student anthropologist, Nonhle Ngubane, is home for the summer holidays. Within a week, the calm is shattered when the unthinkable happens – her father, a game ranger, is arrested for rhino poaching. It’s a crime she believes he’d never commit. Or could he?

As Nonhle struggles to make sense of the accusation, she is blind to the dark plot of revenge unfolding. On a wind-swept mountain, a conflicted traditional healer seeks revenge for the Great Betrayal committed against him. And in the shadows, a slippery rhino poaching boss is expanding his terrible business.

Nonhle wants to help prove her father’s innocence, but she’s out of her depth. Yet, when the evidence against her father starts stacking up, and help is too slow for her liking, she knows she must act. She takes matters into her own hands, and unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events. Events that find her fighting for her father’s innocence, but also, for her life.

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Book Reviews



Have you ever wondered how a writer comes up with the story? Below, I share how Down at Jika Jika Tavern went from a thought to a finished product.

  • You don’t find the story; the story finds you. I can clearly remember when the story of Down at Jika Jika Tavern found me. Although I had started toying with the idea of writing a novel in 2012 (after deregistering from my PhD), I wasn’t doing it very well. I had the main character but was fumbling ...

  • What makes you angry? In my first article related to my upcoming novel, Down at Jika Jika Tavern, I ended off by saying that I would share some of the research, and introduce you to people doing phenomenal work in the field of conservation (both academic and field). Today, I’d like to introduce you ...

  • Excerpt. © All rights reserved. Down at Jika Jika Tavern (Prologue) A terrible mistake 29th November 2012 The driver parked the old Nissan Sentra in an informal layby between the dirt road and the railway lines; the cut of the tracks, thin and bright, in the dark fabric of the night. A sudden gust o...