Why is it that when you go into the African bush with people who haven’t been there before, you always see amazing things, and your visitors go home thinking these thing happen every day. This has happened to me so many times I’ve lost count. One example was a visit from a brown hyena in the Kalahari.
We were camping, with 2 visiting friends, in Khutse Game Reserve, at the well known campsite with the lovely camelthorn acacia. It was dark and we had abandoned our chairs near the embers of the fire and we were getting ready to go to bed. We heard something in the bushes on the edge of camp, got our torch (flashlight) and saw eyes. We decided it was a brown hyena but assured our friends that it wouldn’t come any closer until we were in our tents. Wrong!
It casually walked out of the bushes, straight up to our circle of chairs and started sniffing around the fire. If you’ve seen a brown hyena close up, you’ll know they are a very strange looking beast – something like a cross between a spotted hyena and a very long-haired German Shepherd (of the American variety, with the sloping hindquarters). I had seen brown hyenas before but never one so bold and never this close. After a few moments watching it, we decided we should scare it away – to ensure it had some fear of humans and didn’t become some kind of bizarre campsite scavenger (with jaws you don’t want anywhere near your campsite!). We thought this would be fairly easy – just a few shouts required, surely? Wrong again. The hyena completely ignored us. Eventually, after more unimpressive noise-making attempts, we beeped the car horn and the hyena casually wandered off without a look back. And yes, you guessed it, during the entire encounter the 4 of us completely forgot to try and take a photo!
Do you have a #WishIHadAPhotoWednesday story?
Until next time…