Saturday night we had a nice camp fire and cookout featuring impala potjie (a South African fav kinda like stew). I was on base duty that day taking my turn at cleaning and cooking so I got to make the potjie. We started the fire in the fire pit outside early as the potjie cooks in a heavy caldron over the fire. As we were getting all ready, we heard cracking and crunching near by -Elephants! They slowly munched their way towards us.  A couple hours later they were still close eating away, but once dark they got closer and closer.

Only a few of us were in camp as the others were still out on game drives so it was us and the elephants. We took a flashlight out front to see one that was close, but she didn’t really like that and let us know it by trumpeting loudly and flapping her ears! We moved back inside!  Then we heard lots of cracking in the back.  It was one of the big males moving through the yard. He looked like a huge gray shadow, but you could see his big tusks in the moonlight. He decided to check out the clothesline (no real damage tho) but we thought he might end up with some of our underwear on his tusks! The herd moved along slowly eating and knocking over trees. Very cool!  Exciting stuff until the next day when we discovered they also wanted to try our water and took out some pipes to the well. Without water for a bit, but repaired now. Ahhhh… in Africa!

Sunday was another fun day. Some of us took advantage of our day off and drove over to Kruger National Park. Great animal sightings that began with a male lion about 15 minutes into the park. Zebra, wildebeests, giraffes, elephants, hippos, crocs, ostrich and even a spotted hyena that was just hanging out near the road.  Driving around seeing the animals was a nice way to remember my Dad on Father’s Day. Some of my favorite memories are when he and I would get up early to go to the woods to look for deer and turkey, or moose and elk when we camped in Wyoming. Animals are a little different here, but I always feel him close when I’m out with them.


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