A week or so ago, a few guys went on a fishing trip to the Lower Zambezi. As usual, we took the embankment road through the mountains. This route always seems to have a lot of elephants towards the end and that day was no different. We had to zip past a few that where a little too close for comfort. The drive is one of the best parts.
We got to the campsite and set up with no issues. Martin was in his rooftop tent. Brian and I were on the ground, we put our tents up next to some bushes so we wouldn’t be trampled in the night by the passing wildlife. We cooked dinner, made plans for the next day, and got ready for bed. It was Africa HOT so a dip in the pool and sleeping with a wet towel on top of you is pretty much the only way one can fall asleep. Around 2 am, I woke up hearing what I thought was monkeys in the trees playing around. As the noise got closer, I decided I needed to take a look. I unzipped my tent, turned on my torch (flashlight). Holy shit, there was an elephant eating out of the tree 10 feet away and directly in front of Martin’s truck. Aside from the noise of the elephant stripping the tree leaves, all I could hear was Martin snoring away. He didn’t even notice that the elephant was eating next to his head and bumping up against his truck. At this point I was a little freaked so I kept flashing my light at the elephant who steered me down then decided to walk away. Phew. A long sleepless night indeed.
The next morning, I asked Martin and Brian about the elephant but they had no idea what I was talking about as they slept through the entire time. I guess I’m still a rookie at this camping in the bush thing! We run into some people we knew at the next camp site and were asked, “Who was the one with the nervous flashlight last night?” LOL. That was me!
Once on the river to catch some tigerfish, we first had to catch our bait fish. We found a nice eddy and I could have spent the day there. We just kept catching fish. One bait fish I caught had big teeth marks and missing flesh on his side. We were all a little confused thinking maybe a tigerfish tried getting him. As we were talking it over a crocodile floats to the top to let us know this is his fishing hole and we needed to share.
We spent the day on the river catching tigerfish and even a 22lb catfish. The scenery was too increidble to put into words. Elephants were all around feeding and keeping cool. Crocodiles were sunbathing and hippos were at every turn. What a way to spend a day.
Day two of camping. As soon as we got back to camp, we soaked in the pool and I use that term loosely. It was filled with river water and was as slimy and murky as you can imagine. We were so hot we didn’t even hesitate to jump in.. After we are cooled off, we made dinner and talked about the day. When it was time for bed, I decide to tighten up security around my tent by making a barricade around it with the camping chairs. A false sense of security just like soft Jeep doors. J I went off to bed with my wet towel and I slept through the night! I was so proud that my chairs had kept the wildlife away. Then Martin tells me that a hippo was eating in front of my tent and I didn’t wake up. LOL Everyone says that the animals don’t want anything to do with us so they will leave you alone. I guess I am going to have to start believing that.