African Travelogue, part 3
Our contributing editor, Lacey Haynes, recently traveled through Africa. We will be releasing weekly installments from her travel log.
Game Drive – Chobe National Park
Thursday, 6:10 am
The air is cool and fast, moving over and through me as we speed along the dirt trail. Emily, a five year veteran guide at the lodge says she has a present for me. When we pull up, I don’t see them straight away; their tan coats blend with the dry terrain. The closest is mere meters away. The three of them are staggered, laying lazily in the dim of the rising sun: three lionesses, two of them heavy with unborn cubs. My heart leaps with reverence. A call crackles through on the radio and minutes later we pull up to the entire pride: a male with full mane, his top lioness and a dozen or more lionesses lying on the ridge of a shrub patch. From within the morning silence, thuds roar to the left. It’s an elephant stampede. They run toward us, babies struggling to keep up, their jeans flapping in the wind. Dozens of them charge in front of the jeep and the lions move to their feet, heads hanging low, sinking into their shoulders. The whole scene moves behind trees where the elephants screech as their babies are hunted by the lions. The natural world unfolds and I witness it with the rising sun on the morning of my twenty-eighth birthday.