Sacred Combe Safari III
And now we walk.
We won’t see a vehicle for the next five days.
Walking – walking towards camp — we stopped for tea. As we did so, three elephants, two females and a young male, walked towards us. So we shifted ground and started again. Tea tastes better then there are elephants present.
come to tea –
best to be polite
Back at camp, nothing but the bush, nothing. Moira told me that this was her fifth safari: “But I realise now I’d never really been there.”
We took another walk in the evening, quiet but lovely enough, with a trio of kudu. On return we sat below the bank on which the camp is set, and there we took our sundowners. Soon it was dark, in that pell-mell tropical way. Conversation was quiet, unhurried, the guests sated by a full day of walking through wonders.
Beyond us the baboons made alarm barks. A leopard? Most likely, but Amon Zulu, the guide was aware of movement. A torch? I passed him mine: its feeble gleam lit up the bush for at least five yards ahead. Moira offered her own rather superior model.
Revealed in the sudden beam – perhaps 25 yards off – lions.
Lions and lions and lions.
We counted them a little later: 15 of them. There were many big gorgeous athletic females and one dark-maned male. They had been drinking at the nearby water-hole and were thinking about their next meal. After a rapturous fearful glorious instant when all the world seemed full of lions, Amon and I quietly encouraged the guests to move up the bank and they did so with exemplary calm.
We then watched the lions make a loop across the dried water-course, and then they paused and rested for a while. We could see them in the torch-beam, getting up and lying down again, discussing the matter, getting minds ready, getting bodies ready, getting every member of the pride ready to act as one. Eventually they set off for a night’s work; about 15 minutes later we heard them knock down something small, presumably an antelope.
when lions come
best to call last orders