I think it’s about day four of what seems like a monster hangover but without the fun of drinking. What confirms the fact that I’m ill is that I’ve not even been tempted to one drop of booze.
This morning we had to say goodbye to our group of eight who’d been great fun. We finished off with a drive to the very big baobab so that the adventurous could climb it. On the way back we saw saddled billed stork and kori bustard to add to yesterday’s lappet faced vulture, marshall eagle and southern ground hornbill – Kruger’s big five birds.
Once we said our goodbyes it was up to the manager’s house for shower, shave and a quick power-nap, then it was time to do it all over again with a new set of guests. Fortunately given the state of both Steve and myself we only had two guests in for the trail, honeymooners from Cape Town.
As we were sat in the lounge area taking the couple through the safety rules we explained that the camp is unfenced. This means that animals are free to come and go as they please, at this point a breeding herd of eles made their way through which illustrated the point perfectly.
Steve and I were really struggling, the welcome and the briefing were quite lack lustre but once we were able to line our stomachs with some sandwiches we took the painkillers which worked incredibly well.
We met the breeding herd just outside camp as we drove to the airfield for our walk. There was a young bull getting a bit frisky which caused one of the females to trumpet loudly right next to the Cruiser almost making one of the guests jump right out the other side. We spent a good forty minutes with the herd where we were able to watch some great elephant behaviour.
Once at the airfield we walked a buffalo herd during which we came across an elephant bull. Our viewing of him was cut short as an Outpost vehicle came in from the North which could have spooked him and the herd in our direction.
As we left the area we had to proceed really cautiously due to other noises coming from where we wanted to go. When we were safe we were able to talk, the first thing one of the guests said was,
“My senses have never been more alive than they are right now. I’m hearing absolutely everything and my heart is thumping”
We then relocated to the pan and had an epic buffalo encounter, we found a great log for the guests to sit on whilst Steve and I positioned ourselves for a 360 degree view of the area for safety reasons. Then we waited. After about 25 minutes the buffalo appeared cautiously at the waters edge and began to drink but not after looking straight at us, their sixth sense obviously telling them something was amiss. They were not more than 35 metres away but with the wind in our favour they had no idea we were watching them, this was a text book encounter.
Making our way back to the car we had another ele encounter with two bulls to round the day off nicely.
With only a pair of honeymooners in camp I’m hoping it’s going to be an easy trail, especially as they’ll want to go to bed early. One thing is for sure, it’s already shaping up to be an exciting trail.