It's our first elephant research session and we're supposed to be gathering census information on them, but it's like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack. How does 7,000 kilos of pachyderm hide itself so effectively?
Tag Archives: vervet monkeys
On a nightly basis our room was literally abuzz with activity. Silence the noisy fan from pushing hot, Zambian air in circles over our bodies and you’d hear a lizard scurrying behind the dresser. Turn on the light and one, if not several, rain spiders would freeze in silence on the ceiling, carefully watching us with their many eyes. I was always happy to see our roommates because it meant I knew where they were and so didn't have to worry where they weren't, unlike some of the other creatures that came party crashing into what was called the White House.
A list of some, but by no means all, of the many animals we were lucky enough to witness while in Africa, and even luckier to recall.
We haven't seen a family pride yet - until now. Camouflaged within the grass we see some movement, and then one by one a whole family appears: one male, two females, and eight beautiful cubs! Craig reflexively eeowws at the little cubs, and one of the younger ones eeowws back and starts heading towards the truck. I turn to Craig and say, "I'm calling them the Honeymoon Pride!"
Craig and I acknowledge that there are some things here that we're not entirely happy about, and there are some things that are just simply different from what we've known these past couple of weeks. But that was the point of this part of our trip. It wasn't meant to be the same as the first part of our trip; it was meant to be intentionally different. We're settling into a groove here at Elephant Plains: outstanding wildlife viewing, delicious food, a luxurious room, spa treatments. Really, what's not to like?
When we get back to camp, it looks like the staff are getting ready for some big shindig on the main lawn. There are banners up, tables out with AP swag, the Ingonyama dancers are waiting in the wings, the staff are dressed up in their best khakis, and the elephants are wandering around. Elephants? We've never seen them in camp before. This must be something really big.
It’s 5:45am, my watch keeps reminding me with its incessant flashing and chirping. But I’m already awake and have been for some time. It’s hard to sleep through the excitement of hearing several dozen lions roaring through the night. Even though the BPG is two-and-a-half kilometers away, it sounds as if Big Boy and his gang are right outside the tent flap.