Back walking today, one day off was a day too long. I went out with the trails group from college. They seemed to get a lot out of it, not just skills and knowledge, more self discovery. This, in the main, came from discussing how incredible elephants were. Alan and I were also given a moment of enlightenment when one of the students described someone as, “He’s really old, he must be over 40″. If I didn’t feel old before, I do now.
Nicole the lead saved us from a tricky situation when she spotted some oxpeckers fly up from the tall Sporobolus grass about 150 metres in front of us. After a good five minutes of dissecting the area with our binoculars we made out some buffalo. There was no way through, instead we back tracked and arranged a new pick up.
The afternoon walk started off with quite a downer as we found an impala ewe dead in a snare, she can’t of been dead more than 24 hours. As always we took down the GPS coordinates and emailed them to the ranger when we got back. The other group did similar a few days before when they found a dead nyala. The result was a good one, the rangers set up an ambush which yielded an arrest.
The walk ended well with an elephant encounter at one of the pans on the floodplain behind camp. We managed to get a good comfy position and watched them as they enjoyed their evening drink. We enjoyed ourselves too much which meant we were caught out slightly by the fading light. We got back just as full darkness was about to set in. We could have made it sooner but we stopped on the final approach to camp watch 15 yellow billed storks flying in ‘v’ formation over the baobabs against a purple sky. They were making a beeline towards their roost high in the trees along the Limpopo.