Dave and Dad are…
Fucking Swiss Family Robinsoning it.
Yeah, the safari hut with no electricity, internet, or phone wasn’t roughing it enough we figured so we spent the night in a tree house next to a watering hole so deep in the bush it made the camp look like Piccadilly.
They took us out after dinner, gave us a radio for emergencies (emergencies??) and left us halfway up a tree.
In addition to the radio we had two mattresses with mosquito nets, a high powered battery operated flashlight, a cooler full of beer and an iPod. The Old Man was asleep within about twenty minutes. I stayed up late, drinking the beer and staring off into the star lit wilderness to the kind of perfect mellow soundtrack that makes for one of those moments that you wish you could store away and relieve whenever life starts to suck.
Even with the flashlight the only wildlife I saw was the Old Man. I think his snoring was mistaken for a rampaging elephant and kept all the other animals away.
Solid ending to a full day.
The crack-ass of dawn safari elicited a lot of hits. Started with us coming across a huge heard of buffalo en route to a water hole. Hundreds of the damn things. These things are trouble; they are included in South Africa’s “Big Five” because they are so dangerous to hunt. Also, the herds are led by females.
That’s your National Geographic instructional moment for today.
We followed that up with a lion with a lion cub before we tracked down a bunch of elephants, complete with Dumbo. Those little dudes have some really tremendous ears.
They were big on fluffing them out in an attempt to front and be intimidating. It was fairly amusing, like little kids trying to act tough.
The sunset tour found a crocodile, a lizard and most exciting, a hippo. It was more exciting in the “sweet I can now say I’ve seen a hippo” kind of way than in a wow cool that’s a hippo. Cause all we could see was its nostrils barely above the water.
My dad was more excited by the dung beetles. The guy really is fascinated with dung beetles. They are these little bugs that break off little bits of large shit piles, roll them into balls and push them with their hind legs to parts unknown. The Old Guy cannot get enough.
The bulk of the day between safaris was once again spent poolside, married to the hammock. Today was a lull in attendance at the camp, leaving me and the Old Man as the only residents. We weren’t wild about this. Means that the entire staff of the place only have us to fixate on. That kind of shit makes me really uncomfortable.
Not as uncomfortable as dinner was though. Since it was just the two of us they set us up at a table out on the deck overlooking the camp watering hole. Outside the protective mosquito netting the bug situation was out of control. They’ve always been a little invasive at dinner, we’ve constantly found ourselves flicking them off plates or digging them out of my jack and coke but unencumbered they swarmed us. The Old Man and I were shoveling food down as fast as possible as the only defense against swallowing a spoonful of bizarre and oversized African bugs. It reminded me a lot like that Black Fly song about Ontario that my parents played a lot when I was a kid. Pete Seeger or someone.
The Old Man enjoying his sundowner
Also, it’s worth noting that since the place is all inclusive drinks, I ordered a few jack and cokes our first evening here, and then doubled them when they offered. Apparently the average safari goer here doesn’t booze much cause at this point they are offering me double J&C’s constantly with a sort of mildly disturbed awe that I keep waking up without a hangover. It elicits the serious sideways glances of my father but I swear I’m not drinking very much. It’s like going on a safari with Mormons here.