Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Tena Tena, Day Two

We’re all doing a lot better in terms of sleep. We think we are pretty much over jet lag, but it is harder getting up at 0515 in the morning. I straggle to the campfire for breakfast, and all the happy conversation wakes me up. The moon is also just rising:

We have a great morning game drive, stopping wherever we want just to watch – herons and cranes fishing in the lagoons, baboons warming themselves, some with tiny tiny baboon babies. We see greater kudu, so shy, and we feel so blessed to see such amazing creatures. It’s just another great morning in the Luangwa valley.

AdventureMan spotted this, and called it Immature Impala Arrangement:

This elephant, fortunately across the canal, was seriously angry with us and eager to chase us. We left in a hurry:

I loved this quiet hippo, walking up the canal looking for the right spot to soak:

Mama Giraffe told him to stay put, and he did:

Back to camp for another nice lunch, and we think we are going to take a little snooze, but . . .

No napping today, we have visitors! A herd of elephant are breaking down and eating trees outside our tent.

At afternoon tea, where we all gather preceding the afternoon game drive, the elephants came into the camp, down between our tent and the last tent, blocking access to the game vehicles. Once they sauntered off a little ways, we took the path to the other side, got in our cars, only to discover the elephants blocking the drive we take to get out. We waited fifteen minutes or so until they finished with the acacia tree, then moved far enough inside the bush – maybe eight feet – that our drivers felt comfortable passing. 

Down the road, we are once again blocked, this time by the (normally) shy giraffe.

We sit patiently, knowing eventually the giraffe will get tired, or scared, or annoyed and move on . . . but that doesn’t happen. After about a half an hour, we leave the road and drive around, giving the giraffe plenty of space. Look at those colors! The sun is setting! Giraffes, be shy! We need to go!

Sunset is spectacular, and we almost miss it because of the giraffe blocking the road.

The hippo are all active tonight, and I want to get one of those classic shots with the wide open jaw, but every time it happens, someone has asked me a question or I am listening to a joke and I miss it! By the time I get focused, the mouth is closed. It’s like a great cosmic joke, on me, so I figure I just need to be happy with what I have.

The sky is so clear, the first night without some cloud cover, and on the way back, we stop in a clear glade and Julius points to constellations we don’t see in our hemisphere. The big dipper is there, but down low, near the horizon, and the north star is not visible at all. We see the southern cross, and the scorpion, and the long length of the milky way, and I am reminded of being a little girl in Alaska, where the stars shone bright and clear in the dark sky. We get so used to the ambient light ever present in our cities, that we have no idea
what the stars look like without it. The moon has not yet risen, so the sky is very very black, and each star is clear and sparkly. 

It is such a luxury, just leaning back and seeing this vast expanse of black with the sparkling stars. We also see a shooting star, and we can spot several satelites as they speed across the sky at enormous height and speed.

Dinner, back at the camp, is wonderful, an outdoor barbecue under the trees, steak, chicken, kabobs and nshima, the Zambian staple, like polenta, a corn based starch, accompanied by tomato relish, and it is very similar to comfort food served in the southern USA, grits, and also similar to a family dinner dish served with rice in Kuwait. 

We all proceed very cautiously to our tents, and it is a good thing. Shortly after our arrival, we hear the howooooot of the hyena, and we can hear the munch munch of the hippo. Elephant come back, between our tent and the last, and crash and crunch.  In spite of it all, we sleep soundly and awake all too soon to the day we will leave Tena Tena.

June 24, 2012 - Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Beauty, ExPat Life, Sunsets, Travel, Zambia |

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