The huts at the Wolhuter Trails camp are small but comfortable. There is a mosquito net above each bed; Open hatches at the front and back of the thatched hut allow for a lekker breeze. So even though it was quite hot for most of the night and elephants were drinking right in front of our huts, everyone slept very well. (Please find the link to the first part of this story here.)
I woke up just after first light and made a quick trip to the bathroom. I planned to watch the sunrise behind the waterhole. As I came out from behind our hut, I almost bumped into a hyena! I skidded to a halt and whispered a word that rimes with luck;-). The hyena and I stood there looking at each other for a few moments, both not sure what to do.
Ehm, good morning…?” I muttered. Not sure if that is a proper way to greet a hyena, but it was the only thing that came to mind, haha! The sound of my voice snapped the hyena out of his indecisiveness and he spun around and ran away as fast as his feet would carry him! He stopped a distance away and looked back at me. I could almost see him think: you did nót just say that to me! It was comical and a bit scary all at once.
I woke up Steven as I wanted the hyena out of camp before any of the children were up and about. Luckily, by the time we were both at the fence, the hyena had made its way out of camp and was drinking from the waterhole. There were lots of hyenas around still this early in the morning. Several came to have a drink, but they eventually disappeared when the presence of a couple of buffalo became too much for them.
And then, all of a sudden I heard the sound I have been anticipating for a couple of weeks now. Still croaky, raspy and a bit out of tune, but there it was: the sound of the Woodlands Kingfisher! How awesome! Welcome back beautiful colourful birds!
We had such a lovely chilled out day in camp. The children were exploring the camp and the huts; they played games under the lapa and took turns sitting quietly by the fence watching the animals. During the heat of the day, they played in the skulpie pool I had brought and after making a couple of mud pies; they also decided that a mud bath would also be fun! So after a while, Aiden and Jack looked like a couple of daga boys!
Weather was building up all around us. In the south, we could see big dark blue clouds gathering. The bush went quiet in anticipation, the heat pressing down. Not even the birds were making a sound; could we possibly get some much-needed rain?
Well, we did! That evening, after a few little drops here and here, the heavens opened just as I was carrying Jack to bed. The short walk back to the lapa soaked me from head to toe! The carefully swept paths in the trails camp turned into mini rivers. Frogs were croaking with excitement and gratitude. The trails camp received 11.5 mm that night!
I listened to the rain drip from the trees after I climbed into bed. Then, just before I fell asleep, a male lion started roaring close by. That sound vibrating through the air must be one of my favourite sounds of the bush. It just screams Africa!
The next morning I sat at the fence as the sun came over the ridge. The waterhole was quiet as the bush now probably had pools of water all around.
From an overhanging tree branch, winged termites were taking to the air. They were flowing from the tree like little alien spaceships swarming out to colonize the universe! And in the soft morning light, it was a fascinating thing to see!
We slowly packed up camp to head home. A few hundred meters out of camp on the road running parallel to the waterhole, we found male lion tracks! They were huge and must have been from the same lion we heard the night before. An awesome way to end a fantastic weekend in the bush!