The stench we noticed first, whiffing across the water! Gus immediately knew what it was, a decaying carcass. A few more strokes with our paddles and we could see the corpus delicti, a dead hippo lying on a small island. A vulture had already landed on its bloated body. Others were circling above. Next was the skeleton of a hippo, on one of our morning walks we stumbled across it in a dried up pen. Diligently we studied the enormous bones and how they were spread around the dried up water hole, probably by those in the food chain who did the cleaning job.
Skeleton number two was that of an elephant. This time the bones lay close together, almost neatly lined up. Even the tusks were still there. We suggested taking them to the headquarters, but Gus refused. He did not want to have them in the car and create a possible misunderstanding with the rangers. The weirdest thing was the content of the dead elephant’s stomach: a huge mound now petrified by the relentless work of the busy termites.
One early morning when crawling from our tent, something moving and splashing down by the banks got us curious. Gus stopped us from racing down to the river, “It is crocodile killing another crocodile, just like that..,” he mumbled. Adding that he could not remember ever watching such a croc-on-croc attack! It was a gruesome sight, to be honest. The attacker had the victim at its neck and did not let go. After a while the poor thing stopped kicking, both lying completely still, one dying, the other one killing.