Walking with giants (KNP 2)

Packing, booking and cooking for 2 is simple – compared to the usual 6. Angelika and myself fitted in nicely and had all the time for ourselves. From the first day on we saw, heard and even smelled the marvelous bushveld. If you think a sweating horse smells strong, you should try a ripe elephant bull in full musth. It’s not only frightening to meet that giant on heat rushing through the bush like a maniac, but he also smells quite ferocious. On at least 2 occasions we smelt the colossus before we got to see and hear them. And we’re not really used to tracking with our noses. I can assure you. It’s not only the animals, but also the herbs, bushes and shrubs that are very fragrant at this time of the year. Most of the waterholes are quite putrid standing over from summer and the stagnant streams are turning green and are sometimes even downright rotten.

The sounds of the bushveld are delightful if not frightening and intimidating like a trumpeting elephant or roaring lion. Hearing that at night and in the distance is melody in my ears, but an elephant giving what it takes in a mock-attack makes me catch my breath all right. We survived it and had some wonderful sightings of elephants on the way. Here are some of the pictures we could take. You will understand that we were not in the position to catch those wild moments, when the elephant cow was caught by surprise and rushed us in the ensuing panic – or the giant bull giving chase to a big cow on heat and racing over our path in a flash – or the little bugger, who just wanted to show off his muscle and push us around a bit. It really makes for the feel of big and wild Africa walking with these giants through the veld.

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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