Voyeurism on the plains
01.09.2015 95 °F
This morning I was in the lobby for coffee by 5:30AM and in the "not-a-jeep" with some of the group for a 6:00AM drive in search of lions. [I made the mistake of referring to the 4WD, open-air safari vehicles as "jeeps" once. Not gonna do that again] Lions are very elusIve and there aren't a whole lot of them. They walk down to the river very early in the morning and then when it gets hot they walk back up the hill and hide in the shade of the bushes. It'd be pure luck if you happened upon one in the middle of the afternoon, so you strategize. You drive around until you see lion prints which confirms that they are around somewhere and then you search the grasslands by the river and near the prints. Ta-Daa! There was a mating pair, half hidden behind some tall grass. Lions do not mate for life, they mate to procreate. The male chooses a mate and begins the arduous task of trying to impregnate her every 15-20 minutes for about four days. If she is happy with this guy, and enjoys the "date", she will become pregnant, and he will walk away in search of another mate. This particular lion looked like he was on about day #3. He looked tired and a bit thin. Yes, we kept watching. We wanted to see them stroll up the hill. Instead, the poor male has a very painful foot and won't walk more than a few steps at a time. At some point we decided that It was time for breakfast, so the two drivers drove us to a picnic area on the hill and began to unpack hard boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, yogurt, fruit, coffee, juices. What a fun experience! A breakfast on the plains of Botswana! When we were done, the guys packed everything back up and drove us down to see how the happy couple is progressing. Not very well. He is never going to proudly walk up the hill with his bride. His foot hurts too much. After about an hour of mount, rest, hobble, rest, mount, etc. we abandoned our post and came back to the Lodge.
It must be 90 degrees out there. I was going to take a ride into the local village but I opted for a gin & tonic by the pool. I guess I'm not a very good ambassador. Speaking of pictures (which I wasn't) - I have been asked several times to post some. I don't know how. I am working on a Kindle, which does have a camera, but you cannot frame a picture (no eye) and I can't figure out where the photos are stored. I could try harder but I'm not going to. I have my iPhone with which I could send pics to FB, but in Botswana, the cost of data is outrageous, so I have turned the darned thing off. My iPhone is now an alarm clock and a Kodak Instamatic - that's all.
Tomorrow we leave this wonderful lodge and take the short flight to the next safari camp. We'll be there for two nights. This the two day experience that set the duffel bag standard for the entire three week journey. The little prop planes that we will take tomorrow can only accomodate a very limited amount of cargo volume and weight. Thus, the cart pulls the horse. This is also the camp with no WiFi, and only a limited amount of solar power - not enough to run a blow dryer. I guess it doesn't matter any more. I'm getting used to looking like crap and the lions don't care. They're busy.