Before the days of family travel, toddler-road-trip-coping-tips and mamahood survival, there were all sorts of other travelling adventures! I’ve decided to dip into the travel diaries and reminisce over some of my favourite tales – first up: my scariest travel moment. Clue – it involves a wild animal….
One achingly hot Zambian afternoon, my husband and I left the shade of our tented safari camp, and braved the unforgiving African sun to hunt down a rumoured, but elusive WiFi connection in this remote part of the South Luangwa National Park. A beautiful spot, by the banks of a river teeming with wildlife, it was just a short walk from our tent down a dusty path riddled with monkeys to reception.
*Disclaimer: This article contains some affiliate links, any purchases you make are unaffected but I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you to help me keep this blog running – thanks.
We had been warned that giant beasts occasionally made their way into the camp, indeed it didn’t seem unlikely given their overwhelmingly apparent proximity – beady crocodile eyes gave away their basking positions in the muddy waters just metres away from our tarp-ed dining table, and families of elephants sauntered across the river numerous times, each time never less mind-blowing than the last.
We’d also heard them at night – the deafening crickets, caterwauling jackals, screeching monkeys, distant roar-offs between elephants and lions, hippos bellowing their Frank Bruno-esque laughs. In the darkness, distance perception was lost and every croak, grunt and squawk seemed frighteningly close. The canvas of our safari tent seemed incredibly flimsy compared to the power and size of the animals around us. Occasionally, wild flashes would illuminate the tent, the night guards’ hushed voices betraying some urgency as they frantically tried to discern the source of a new mammalian sound. A long silence…then sleep… and then we would awake to another blood orange sunrise.
But never did we dream how close we might actually get to one of the perpetrators…
- A) remain motionless and hope the four-ton body mass pelting in our direction suddenly recognises us as a pair of non-threateningly honeymooners? A more difficult feat when aforementioned four-ton body mass is scuffing the ground with his giant, bone-crushing elephant foot while mulling over your impending fate.
- B) shout, wave and generally go berserk to scare off the creature?
- Or, C) the most attractive-option, RUN FOR OUR LIVES.
A slightly too-close encounter with one of these magnificent beasts.
You might also like:
Pin it for later: