It is the first drive for my new guests. They were staying for two nights so the plan was to maybe track down one of the big 5. There was no pressure yet and everything was still new and exciting to them. So the drive went along smoothly as we looked at birds, trees and general game like impala and giraffe.
After about an hour, we came across some lion tracks. It seemed to be quite fresh so we decided to follow them. They led us into and down a riverbed. I will never complain as I enjoy driving in the sand every now and then. Further along we came across some rhino tracks going in the same direction as the lions. But since we decided to follow the lions, the rhino tracks didn’t bother us too much when they veered off to the north.
As I stopped at one of the nicer tracks to explain to the guests about how we go along identifying the tracks, my tracker spotted a rhino not too far ahead of us. He must have been dreaming because as we drove around the corner there was nothing. But I trust my tracker and if he insists that he saw a rhino, then he saw a rhino. He could see tracks of them going north again. I couldn’t, showing why he is the tracker and I am not. We drove north and sure as daylight there was a different one of the big 5 – the buffalo. This may sound weird, but at quick glance, a buffalo can look identical to a rhino, especially in the thick bush. Again my tracker said that the tracks keep going north, so after a while we continued north, completely forgetting about the serious lion tracking we were busy with. And suddenly there they were – beautiful white rhino females, standing larger than life in the middle of the road.
After we enjoyed the rhinos for a while, we thought about the lion tracks again and decided against it. Don’t want to spoil the guests too much on the first experience. So we headed to an open area to enjoy sundowner drinks as the sun disappeared over the horizon and giraffes gracefully walking across the open plains. Great ending to another perfect day in Africa.
Story by Jacques (River Lodge)