An Empty Coast

An Empty Coast
My latest novel

Monday, August 04, 2008

Safari diary, August 4th, 2008

Tamboti Tented Camp, Kruger National Park.

Rain last night. Unusal for this time of year. Could smell it coming on the wind before I turned in.

3.00am: Woken by male lion roaring, approximately four metres outside safari tent. Fortunately there was electric fence between tent and lion. Unfortunately there was also typical South African power outage (formerly known as blackout) last night.

3.01am: Snuggled closer to Mrs Blog and pulled covers up to nose in knowledge that this would protect us should a hooked, yellowed claw appear through the canvas.

3.02am: Much discussion about location of lion, direction of movement, ability of big cats to jump over fences.

3.04am: Safe under blankets, I am oddly comforted by the series of grunts and mournful moans of the lion. We haven't seen one since arriving in Kruger last Thursday, so it's nice to know they're out there... somewhere.

6.05am: Still raining. Lion still calling. Despatch Mrs Blog outside to veranda to look for lion, armed with binoculars and penlight torch.

6.07am: Mrs Blog returns, intact. Lions believed to have moved off.

7.00am: Finally extract self from under blankets, have brief conversation with occupant of next safari tent. "Did you see him?" I ask.

"Ja, with the spotlight when it was still dark," he replies. "Right over there, just outside the fence near your tent. Awesome."

Indeed.