Faster, Please!

Africa, cont.

The body wanted to sleep, but we were up at half past five and in the Land Rover by six to see whatever we could before the animals went to sleep for the day.  And it was worth it, bigtime.  We saw one of the most beautiful male lions ever (I’m a Leo, so I have a particular sort of bonding with them), and we were within ten yeards orso of him.  I’ll get the photos up soon.  Then a group of elephants, with about half a dozen babies, one of whom decided it was time to show off his feistiness.  He started running towards us, trumpeting up a storm, until his mother reached between his rear legs with her trunk and redirected him back towards the others, heh.  A bit later one, we saw the lion again, this time with a mate, who was limping a bit, sorry to say.  He seemed to recognize us, and let us get quite close again, and kept her calm.

Then this evening we were looking for buffalo when we heard lions roaring in the distance, so off we went.  IT was the same couple from the morning, plus another male, maybe fifty yards off.  Evidently they two males had exchanged roars over territorial control.  We’ll be listening tonight;  there’s lots of game for them and they may spat over the prime cuts.

We also saw a rarity:  a group of about ten older buffalo males, who had been expelled from the herd by the younger bucks.  They’ve been judged too old by the others, and so they will no longer be permitted to mate or to share territory.  One by one they will die off, prey to the hungry cats in the neighborhood.  In addition to the lions, we saw a couple of jackals, and the hyenas are always plentiful, along with leopards and cheetahs.  One of the reasons I love Africa so much is that if you make a big mistake, there is always something or perhaps even somebody who is ready to eat you.  It’s not like Washington, where you get to redesign yourself for the next wave of celebrity.

By the way, I have a couple of words for that fool who wrote in to say that I was involved in Iran-Contra and then accused of being a prime mover in the Niger forgery story.  If he bothered to look into either matter he would find that I was cleared of all accusations of malfeasance in both cases, and in Iran-Contra it came after five years of very detailed investigations by a special prosecutor.  That guy wouldn’t last long in the bush, let me tell you.

Then, this evening, we saw something I had never seen before:  a bush baby.  They are the cute little creatures thatare said to be the models for gremlins.  We found one in a tree after nightfall, and it certainly looked very gremliny, with its bright orange eyes and pointy ears…very small, very hard to spot.  Full marks to our guide Ziggi, who saw the orange eyes flashing at our searchlight.

Impala for dinner.  It may storm tonight, an adventure all its own.