Things are getting tougher in the wild Selous. It’s getting drier and drier, competition more tense and here….. only the strong survive.
Beho Beho couldn’t be in a better location to experience this difficult time to lives in the wild that we are only beginning to understand. The spring in the Msine valley provides for the thirsty with the doum palm forest providing good cover. Two highly essential needs at this approaching dry season.
This on the other hand calls for great walks; it’s been magical as you will recall from the previous blogs. Hippos up to hundred strong by the pool just a minutes walk from camp. Elephants feasting on the fruiting Doum palms and so are the baboons. In the end all must come to drink, and here is where the predators lurk. They too need a drink but to their advantage food comes by in the numbers. Until dark they sit quiet and when it darkens a powerful chorus of the awakening predator takes over, it’s a nightmare to the weak, a reminder to the strong and an advertisement to their presence. Hyena, lions and leopards are now in their element, owls dramatise the setting together with the cry for help from those who fall victim.
Being able to track, whether in a car or on foot, what took place in the dark, who came by, who made it and who didn’t, one cannot wish for a better experience.
Apart from walking up to elephants and hippos, buffalo and lions. On the 21st this month was my birthday. I got the most adrenaline rush encounter with one the most talked off, and feared reputation. On a morning walk, exploring a new area, myself and Sebastian walked face to face with a 2 meter black mamba. You can only imagine the adrenaline when you actually encounter this daring deadly serpent. But, as always nothing out there actually wants to eat you, unless one will have provoked the other, something you learn very early in your career not to do. So all went well, we stood very still and gave him ample time to slither into the long dry grass from where it came. Our respect to this individual’s space paid off with his respect to us and not put up a fight. A peaceful encounter for both parties. That was the best birthday present. After all this a beautiful breeding herd of elephants and finally some very fresh lion dung.
This is just the beginning of it all, we know for sure it will only get drier and these relations and interactions between predator and prey, male and female, solitaries and socials will get even more tense. All I can do is share these amazing experiences with you.