Darkness drops quickly in southern Africa. Sarah and I had been picked up at the extremely remote dirt airstrip minutes before and we were headed along a 4WD path to our hunting camp. Roy, our Professional Hunter (PH) was driving the Land Cruiser; Sarah and I were passengers along with our gear for a three week hunt. The twilight deepened as the sandy path dipped into a grove of Baobab trees. Suddenly, a bellowing elephant blasted from the trees on the left and charged our truck. Roy goosed the Rover, fighting deep sand for traction. The tires caught solid ground and we shot ahead, just in time to avoid a sideways smash from the raging pachyderm. But the old bitch fell in behind us, trunk raised, ears flapping, and started gaining on us! (Elephants can move fast!) Sarah’s blue eyes, large as eggs, were riveted on the giant apparition thundering up behind us in the gloom of near nightfall, her grip on my arm vise-like. I thought, WOW, what a beginning to our African hunt! If we survive this! We did; got clean away due to Roy’s driving prowess. The man had experience with such things. Welcome to deepest Africa folks.
Camp was on a bluff overlooking Lake Kariba, which sits along the fabled Zambezi River. Kariba is downstream from Victoria Falls, which we had visited prior to flying via bushplane to Roy’s hunting Concession—300,000 acres of very remote and uninhabited country along the southern edge of the Zambezi. The location is about 16 degrees south latitude. We were there in June—winter in the southern hemisphere. Mornings were crisp and afternoons were warm but not hot. And dry. Altogether about like Colorado in autumn. Superb weather for hunting.
(I see that it’s been more than a month since I last posted on the Road Trip blog. I’ve obviously been busy. So. Let’s consider this post the Start of Interlude Five…Africa, and I’ll try to get more of the adventure posted soon…sooner than the last time! I’m already sketching remembrances of this African hunt in my notebook. Gratifying work, this, as the events of the trip come drifting back into focus.)