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Author Focus

Christiaan Bakkes
Biographical info

Christiaan Mathys Bakkes was born on August 3 1965 in Vredenburg on the West Coast. He matriculated in 1983 at the Pro Arte Art School in Pretoria.

Christiaan was a game ranger in the Kruger National Park when he lost his left arm in February 1994 after two crocodiles attacked him while he was swimming in a dam. He travelled through Africa for five months after his recovery, worked for the WWF in the Kaokoveld in Namibia for three years, after which he worked for a safari company that conducted eco tours at the Skeleton Coast. He is currently a guide and area manager at Wilderness Safaris in Namibia. He lives in Damaraland in the northwest of Namibia.

His debut, Die lang pad van Stoffel Mathysen, was published in 1998 and four more books about the adventures of his alter ego, Stoffel have since been published. Most of these stories are based on real life experiences.

Stoffel by die afdraaipad was nominated in 2005 for the M-Net literary prize for short format texts (short stories, children’s or youth novels).

In 2008 In Bushveld and Desert: A Game Ranger’s Life, translations of several of his stories, was published.

Did you know?

  • Christiaan had to learn to write again after he lost his left arm (he was left-handed), and could make beautiful drawings before the accident. He started to make drawings again recently. He writes all of his stories with the hand, after which someone types them for him.
  • He is the son of the writer Margaret Bakkes and historian Cas Bakkes. Writer C. Johan Bakkes is his brother.

Author bookshelf

Krokodil aan my skouer (2014)
Bushveld, Desert, and Dogs: a Game Ranger’s Life, Human & Rousseau (2012)
Stoffel op safari, Human & Rousseau (2012)
Stoffel in Afrika
, Human & Rousseau (2010)
In Bushveld and Desert: A Game Ranger’s Life, Human & Rousseau (2008)
Stoffel se veldnotas, Human & Rousseau (2007)
Stoffel by die afdraaipad, Human & Rousseau (2004)
Stoffel in die wildernis, Human & Rousseau (2000)
Die lang pad van Stoffel Mathysen, Human & Rousseau (1998)

List of titles

Prose
2014 Krokodil aan my skouer
2012
Bushveld, Desert, and Dogs: a Game Ranger's Life
2012 Stoffel op safari
2010 Stoffel in Afrika
2007 Stoffel se veldnotas
2004 Stoffel by die afdraaipad
2002 Skuilplek
2000 Stoffel in die wildernis
1998 Die lang pad van Stoffel Mathysen

Translation

2008 In Bushveld and Desert: A Game Ranger’s Life, – Translated by Elsa Silke

Reviews

“In pages so atmospheric that you can almost taste the bushveld dust, there are poachers and hunting, wild animals and wild parties – even a little of SA’s unspoken history when he served “on the border” in the early days.” – Peter Godson on In Bushveld and Desert, Daily Despatch (2008)

“His writing is evocative and informative and he has produced a highly readable, honest and humorous account of a life spent beyond the fringes of civilisation.” – Anthony Stidolph – The Witness (2008)

“A master narrator – unpretentious, engaging and enriching.” – Die Burger

“[His] stories are remarkable. They portray life in the wilderness with soberness and simplicity, but also with irony.” – Radio Klara, Brussels

Books By This Author