After spending the morning slashing the long grass around camp (which I actually enjoy) and then driving people to and from the gate I was looking forward to taking the game drive in the afternoon. This was the first time I’ve taken out real clients for a dedicated game drive, it wasn’t just a case of driving them from ‘a’ to ‘b’ with a few animals in between.
Marianne wanted to see elephants, well actually she wanted to see elephants at 5m so quite a tall order. We headed up to the Sand Veld and saw some fresh signs and then Manfred spotted what we were after. A small breeding herd, maybe only three or four about 80m away and heading away from us into the mopane. Marianne didn’t get her 5m worth but we did get ele so the job was half done.
After sundowners we headed to the other end of the concession and this is when things went badly wrong as I managed to get myself completely lost. It transpired that rather than bearing left I carried onto the right and ended up at a place called Crooks Corner. I had a hunch I was heading in the wrong direction but figured it would workout and I’d hit the right road sooner or later. I didn’t and as the frogs calls got louder and we entered a single track in to the fever tree forest I knew I was lost.
I couldn’t have had a better bunch of clients to get lost with, they were incredibly good humoured and helpful. I radioed Bruce back at camp and announced that I was “temporarily disorientated”. Once we’d established where I was it wasn’t too difficult to get back, it was simply a case of turning round and heading back along the same road but this time keeping right. The worst thing about using the radio to sort things out is that everyone else on the concession will now know that I was lost.
The drive wasn’t a complete write off as we stopped for two spotted hyenas, we watched them for about quarter of an hour. They were really inquisitive and came close to give us a great view. On the way back we stopped in the middle of a breeding herd of buffalo and saw another hyena before we made it back.
The ladies in the kitchen quite rightly a bit miffed with me, my moment of disorientation meant we didn’t sit down to eat until 21.00. We had a fun evening with Dee sharing stories of how she’d been lost on the concession so that I’d feel better. It worked as did a few beers.