Death is never far in the wilderness. After decaying hippos, crocs killing crocs and the discovery of all kinds of skeletons, the most fascinating incident was yet to come. It happened on our last morning walk, when Gus was trying to find a big cat, as he put it. All of a sudden a large pack of funny looking creatures raced by us, very close. Some even sped towards us, stopped short as if confused and then followed the pack. “Painted dogs!” Gus hissed, “They are extremely rare. Let’s follow them, they are hunting.” Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | Mana Pools National Park
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. Continue Reading →
Of course we remembered what Gus had said during the briefing, “There are times where you need to concentrate on other things than taking a photo.” When we approached a narrow passage littered with hippos, we sensed that this might be such a moment. Gus was knocking the paddle against the canoe to make them move, to no avail. We sensed it was not the usually “let’s pass a bunch of hippos” situation.
Should anybody ask us what we liked best about this entire trip, the answer is very simple: the four days canoeing on the Zambezi River, camping on its bank and being in the midst of all this wildlife. And let’s not forget, listening to Gus’ exciting stories, a resume of 20 years of experience in national parks all over southern Africa. Continue Reading →