Today’s post comes from Verily Sherrilee
The safari experience in South Africa is amazing. At most camps there are two “runs” a day, one right at dawn and one as night falls. They pile you into large stadium seating jeeps and head off into the bush, complete with blankets and sometimes hot bricks for your feet. The drivers and guides know a tremendous amount about the animals in each of their reserves, including where the “cut line” is – the seemingly invisible boundary of each park. They constantly radio back and forth with other jeep drivers about what animals they’ve seen and where they are. It’s quite a ride.
On the last day of my trip back in 2007, the client wasn’t feeling well and decided she didn’t want to get up for the last run before we had to pack up and head back to Johannesburg. That left just me and the program Account Executive on the jeep. As we were heading out, our driver Million said that he had heard some chatter the day before from another reserve just to the north of our reserve that they had seen wild dogs. Wild dogs hadn’t been seen for a couple of months on “our side” of the cut line but did we want to take a chance? Million was very clear that #1, we’d have to hightail it up to the cut line in order to make it back in time for breakfast and #2, we absolutely could not cross the cut line so if the wild dogs were in the next park then we’d be out of luck. Account Exec and I both agreed we should go for it.
Luck was with us. We actually saw some animals on the way and then the whole pack of wild dogs was on our side of the cut line. As this wasn’t enough luck, the pack had quite a few pups. Million parked the jeep about 20 feet away and we sat still and quiet for over an hour, watching the dogs come and go from the clearing. Some of the pups were very curious and advanced pretty closely on the jeep. All of my pictures were taken without a view finder as I’d dropped the camera the night before and damaged it; I just kept holding it out and clicking away. My luck continued to hold as I managed to get several fairly decent shots that morning.
We practically flew back to the lodge and tried SO hard not to gloat to the client about our morning’s experience. I don’t know how successful we were.
When has luck been on your side?