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Sunday, 5 August 2012

24 hours in the Bush (Part II)

We watched the CCF truck driveway and hunkered down for the night. As the temperature quickly dropped we crawled into our sleeping bags and perched ourselves on the bench seat. The moon was full but visibility was not great. Melinda spotted an oryx at the salt lick. She turned on her small flashlight to record the information and the oryx bolted. Lesson learned - no flashlights. We had to depend on our other senses.

We sat silently listening to animals approach. Melinda said "listen! I hear a leopard growling. It's close." Brenda laughed "that's my stomach and the chili." It was time to really concentrate. 

We sat in the cold and listened for animals. We used our binoculars to peer into the darkness but it was too difficult to see. We decided to take turns sleeping. Melinda was first. She had the better sleeping bag so in theory she could sleep a little more soundly. After a few hours of tossing and turning on the loose floor boards of the blind Melinda took the post. Suddenly to the immediate right in the bush she heard a loud commotion. It seemed something was causing major havoc within the menacing baboon troop from earlier. It ended with a loud scream and then warning bark from the dominate male. It's safe to say something had a late night snack on a baboon. Later Brenda heard a rustling in the bush and then a warthog scurried right under the floor boards of the blind. She could feel him pass right under our back!

6 a.m. approached and the count was ending. We were cold, but happy that we had made it 24 hours alone in the bush. To celebrate we applied a little war paint and enjoyed the rising sun over the waterhole. We heard the CCF truck approach. We got into the warm truck and left our waterhole in a cloud of dust. There was some upbeat kwito music playing on the radio. We looked at each other, wearing our war paint, and knew that we had experienced something only a few people on earth would ever experience.

Melinda and Brenda (Earth Expeditions 2012)

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