I wait for the Landy to start

9th May 2014

Wednesday 30th April 2014

A third night in a row of not sleeping properly, woke up again at half two and I don’t think I fell back to sleep again. Not sure what it is that’s causing it, certainly no anxiety as I’m totally at peace with myself. Could easily be the cold, luckily Alisi found me a duvet so I was a little bit warmer last night. Given that it dropped to ten degrees it was still rather chilly.

There was lots to keep me entertained as I lay in bed. The animals seemed to be having a field day out there. The hyenas were incredibly close to camp, their calls were as loud as a police siren but not as intrusive. Well that’s what I thought, the eles thought otherwise and gave a trumpet as if to tell them to shut up. The hyenas didn’t listen and carried on calling which seemed to insight one of the eles into a full on almighty trumpet, this time it worked and I didn’t hear the hyena again until dawn was breaking.

These noises at night are great, I just hope that they don’t ware themselves out by the time Chubby and Claire arrive. I’d love them to experience all of the above as well as the owls, the Verraux’s eagle owl and the African scops owl were both calling through the night.

Camp is so peaceful when everybody else goes off on trails in the morning. If I’m not walking I lie in bed waiting for the Landy to start up, as it pulls away I jump out of bed and head to the study deck for a cuppa and some breakfast.

The animals appreciate the quiet too, sometimes you can get over 50 impala milling about. Jomi is also a fan of the empty camp so its not long before he joins me, he’s after the same thing so there’s really no need for us to talk.

The sun comes up over to my left and the baboons make their way down from one of the many gigantic Nyala trees that shade the camp. This is when the peace is broken, there’s always a domestic, one baboon beating up the other or worse, I feel as if I should be calling the police.

As I start on my third cuppa of the morning a small baboon is chased by a large one who is in turn being chased by an even bigger one. Almost seven O’clock, time I was getting on with some work.

Chubby and Claire arrived today, so chuffed that they’ve come all this way to see Makuleke. I can’t wait to show them everything it has to offer, especially as they will probably be my last visitors whilst I’m here. I fly back home three months today, that’s scary and sad but also very exciting as I get to see family and friends as well as getting in some cricket.

My final preparations for Chubby and Claire arriving was to check the eves of their tent for snakes. Their tent, number three, has a history of black mambas taking residence. Not that I’d tell them this, well not until their last morning.

They’d come straight from London, 24 hrs door to camp so understandably they were knackered, the seven hour drive on no sleep must have been a killer. Once they’d settled into camp we went out on a short game drive to Mangabe, actually more of a booze cruise. Then it was a few beers around the fire whilst people shared animal stories. Chubbs, Claire, welcome to my office.