A jeep met us at the airstrip and we travelled the twenty minute journey to the camp. The sounds as we drove through the bush were unmistakably African. We were welcomed warmly and shown to our tent.
On ‘The Verandah’
On our drive out that evening we saw our first elephant. He was a magnificent specimen, a lone adult male in musth, high on testosterone with no outlet for it and not to be trusted.
In the mornings we were called at 6.30 am, had a light breakfast and went on the morning drive with two others, John and Jane.
At Breakfast Before Morning Drive
On our second drive out in the bush a couple of miles from the camp the jeep broke down. Not only did it stop, but the radio phone failed at the same time so we couldn’t call for help. Water, our driver, and John, a retired professor of mechanical engineering, worked away for about an hour with no success. Eventually we pushed the jeep on a slight incline on the track, let out the clutch and, music to our ears, the engine started.
African Wild Dogs - Dangerous fellows
On one drive we rounded a bend and Water stopped suddenly. Asleep on the track in the shade of a large tree were four lionesses with swollen stomachs after a kill. One of them lifted her head slightly to look at us and collapsed back to sleep. Lions have no fear of jeeps in preserved areas since there is no threat from them. Sometimes lions will walk within a foot or two of a parked jeep without as much as looking.
Sleeping Off The Kill
For Jane and John Sproston
sleeping off the kill.
Bones stripped bare,
left to bleach in searing sun.
vulnerable only to their own.
A shaded sight
of sure survival.
We drove out morning and evening while at Xakanaka and saw almost the full range of animals to be seen.