It’s Leah again, the blonde, non-hunting gal tagging along on hunting safaris. As you recall, we walked for miles on that cape buffalo hunt I wrote about in the article, “It’s no bull.” Since my new shoes and all the walking caused blisters on my blisters, and my blisters had sisters, I decided to take the day off. I’d stay at camp, while the hunters continued tracking buffalo. I used it to do some reading in my tent; a luxury super large tent built on a raised concrete platform. Connecting the tents to the dinner tent and throughout the campsite is a nice sandy pathway lined with stones and beautiful landscaping on either side.
The hunters left and I wasted no time getting started on my day when the sun rose into the sky. The first thing I did was to jot down every experience I could remember. I found that so many experiences happened every day I knew I needed to put it
to paper. (You’ll notice we recommend to bring a journal in our Packing Checklist guide.) As I was writing, I could hear the pitter patter of a tiny lizzard running on the canvas of my tent; the sound was so gentle and relaxing I could
only smile; I was able to capture a picture of him when he decided to show himself to me. Finishing my task of writing down as many things I could recall, I then decided to read a book, “Death in the Long Grass,” by Peter Hathaway Capstick. Firstly, I must say, if you’ve never read it, pick up a copy now. It’s highly entertaining and educational. Secondly, DO NOT read this book while you are ON-safari! For all those people who have already read this book, I’m sure you got a good chuckle on that one.
The deeper I immersed myself into this book, I was becoming more and more paranoid that I would be eaten any second by a lion, just when . . I started hearing some sort of scuffle outside. A noise that sounded like a hundred people firmly thumping their fingers into a mattress. It was getting louder. It was getting closer. I was getting nervous; no one was around, and I had no protection. As the noise got closer, I realized it was something running towards me, and the noise was the sound of feet pounding into the sandy path. I decided to pick up my video camera and aim it towards the noise so as to have documentation so that my family will know how I met my untimely death. Just then, a troop of vervet monkeys ran down the path, running past fast and furious, many jumping over the concrete stoop in front of my tent. I was in awe! I couldn’t believe my eyes! One of the monkeys actually tried to peek into the tent through the zipped screen; I must say I was happy that he decided to catch up with the others rather than to pursue me! I’m even more happy I was able to catch a video of monkeys running by my tent!
I ventured out of my tent for a beautifully prepared lunch, I decided to sit outside overlooking the Zambezi river. I sat in a camp chair, propped up my feet and continued reading. Thankfully I had my camera with me to photograph some birds
that perched near me to eat fruit in the trees. I noticed a few more monkeys making their way across the embankment in front of me. One decided to get a gander at me as he crept closer and closer. He shyly hid behind the trunk of a tree, only to peek around occasionally to figure me out. I couldn’t understand what was so different about me that caught his eye, just when I figured it out. He must have been thinking, “That is the palest baboon I have ever seen!” He eventually moved on. I reminisce I had such a wonderful day; I’m kind of glad for those blisters.
It’s not uncommon for people to take a day off-safari, especially on a 2- or 3-week hunt like we were on. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to experience the wildlife. The pictures may not be the greatest, but I’d like to share a few of my favorites. And
I’m so glad I had my little notebook too. So, when you go on your safari, don’t feel guilty to take that day off, and “do” take a journal, just in case. And, when you’re ready to fill that journal with your own memories, give us a call at 706-502-2898!