It’s Monday 16th April 2007 and my hero

It’s Monday 16th April 2007 and my hero

Well today you are getting two stories. I have been in town for a few days doing my annual “shop till I drop” routine, which I do rather well. Some 1000 meters of material and 25 boxes of kitchen and camp equipment in two days, when I got home I did literally drop! This is the replenishing of the camps – from replacing the tea strainers on the drives, to 100 meters of uniform material. I secretly love it but don’t tell anyone.

wild dogswild dog

At the start of last week the dogs and lions reappeared. They had both been AWOL for around ten days. There are four year-old wild dogs in the group and they are very playful, always torturing the adults and playing games, which makes for very excting and amusing viewing.

wild dogwild dog

The dogs disappearing act I understand, they have huge home ranges and bundles of energy. They generally hang around for a few days and then suddenly up and off they go, sometimes as far as the Mupamadzi River, some hundred kilometers away. Then one day – without warning – they are back in town.

LionessSleeping lioness

However, the lions have no excuse. They hang around the same areas and frankly have no business doing a disappearing act on us. I always feel very bad for the guests in camp when this happens, but it does remind us that after all, it is their world and it certainly is not on tap.

Reaching Tena Tena is always a mission every year. This really falls into Robin’s domain – he loves the boys bit in the bush. There are two obstacles – firstly the Mwangazi River, which although is not that wide, the surrounding area is like a wet lagoon after the rains. Last year a causeway was built over the river section but we were skeptical as that is not normally the bit that stops us.

Flooded roadbuggered bridge

So Adrian and Beej were dispatched on their off road motorbikes a couple of weeks ago, to check out the situation. Well – there was not a chance of getting vehicles through and sadly the new bridge is “buggered” (an African word, used in daily speech, meaning broken). On Saturday Robin drove up in a couple of vehicles and a small army truck. They got stuck a few times on the way (it takes two land cruisers winching to get the truck out!) but reached the second annual obstacle – the Kauluzi River. Robin found the river to be “top of hip” deep (the body being the local measuring instrument for water). Hmmmmmmm.. Well – now what? You wade through with a winch, use a pulley and a “dead man” and presto – you have a vehicle on the other side. Dead man ??? Well a large branch upright in the ground, held in place with all sorts (spare tyres, branches at angles etc) that you put the winch wire and pulley around meaning you can winch a vehicle through the water from a vehicle on the same side. Yes well….it would have been helpful to have some pics but when asked, he said “the last thing I needed was an expensive camera bumping around in the cab”! My usual retort would have been “well how am I supposed to do It’s Monday without photos” but after what he had achieved and been through I thought best to leave it!

Robin loved his tough and rugged day in the bush. Makes my heart melt – my bush hero.

That is all from me – have a wonderful week.



PS Thanks to Paul Harper and Sue & Keith Martin for the great lion photos!

wild dog pack

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