Elephants

Trip Start Dec 26, 2011
1
24
32
Trip End Jan 29, 2012


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Where I stayed
Elephant Sands Camprground

Flag of Botswana  ,
Friday, January 20, 2012

Jan 20

Pretty short drive today over "bad" roads. Nothing they have here even comes close to the nightmare of Ugandan roads. Somehow, I still preferred that trip. With the rainy season, there are a lot more bugs here. Ants, beetles, flying things, you name it. It's gross.

You'll be surprised to learn there are a lot of elephants here. We saw many along the highway. We stopped to look at one big fella, he couldn't see us (like dinosaurs, they only see movement) so he put his trunk up a few times to smell us. Then gave a big head shake and walked in a circle, eventually hiding behind a tree. The tree was maybe two inches wide, so the only thing we couldn't see were his eyes. Much like a toddler, he was now "hiding". It was pretty funny, watching him stand still, ears flapping, behind a tiny tree.

Upgraded again tonight. Another $50, but the rooms here are pretty rustic, ie, shitty. Have my own chalet, but it's just grimy and the mosquito net doesn't fit, the screens on the windows are all ripped and the bathrooms have no ceiling, so at night, when the lights finally work, you can't turn them on for all the things you'll attract. Guess it's better than a tent. But only just.

The bar and pool area are nice at least. It's quite hot here, so we spend most of the day lying around. Just after lunch, an elephant walks through the campsite, down to the watering hole for a bath. It's mesmerizing. He stamps his foot in the sand, until he makes a bit of mud, then picks it up in his trunk and splashes himself with it. Helps get rid of ticks, and cools him down. Then he wanders over to a tree and proceeds to scratch every part of himself on it, especially his ass. It's delightful. Then he wanders off towards the chalets and i hear mention of wifi, so go check my emails, slowly.

We have a game drive at 4, which is really hot and sadly, we don't see much. A few shy elephants and even shyer giraffes. One elephant family member was very upset at our presence, trumpeting at us for a long time, even after we drove off. Peeing in the African bush is scary enough, but while an elephant is screaming in the distance, it's terrifying. Pee much faster. On the way back, it's dark, we drive on the highway with lightning on both sides of the car and elephants all over the road. If you think a moose is scary to meet in your headlights...

The lodge makes dinner for us, which is a nice change from cooking for ourselves. The chocolate cake is a big hit. It's the little things on trips like this. Then it starts raining. Am now in my bed, sweaty and itchy, being bitten by god knows what. Pretty ready to go home now.

Holy shit! Around 3 am I'm awoken to the sounds of elephants splashing in the watering hole just outside my room. Then! Then, there are definite sounds of angry elephants and angrier lions having it out over who gets to use the water. There is trumpeting and roaring and it's awesome. Then, just outside my window, there is a loud, guttural growl from a large cat. The fear it instills is primal. I'm in a little chalet, with four concrete walls, and still, the sound scares me into complete stillness. I can't move. Part of me wants to look outside, but I just can't. There is a bit more noise, and then, complete, eery silence. I wait, but don't hear another sound, except the crickets and frogs have started up again. It's only now I realize they were silent all this time. I'd love to know what was put there, but it rained so hard, no tracks are left. I'm going to go with male lion. Enormous, with bloody teeth. That's certainly what I pictured last night!
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Comments

Judy Koivula on

I'll gladly stay in "Winterpeg" and travel thru your blogs!

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