I’d like to invite all you wildlife lovers out there to join me in celebrating #WishIHadAPhotoWednesday – a chance to tell all those bush stories for which you have no photographic evidence. I’m not talking tall tales here – just things you’ve seen that stand out in your memory. I have made a long, long list, and I’ll start you off with a short, simple tale that involves Africa’s biggest antelope.
I was sitting on the roof-rack of our Toyota Hilux truck (nicely padded with our sleeping mats) in Khutse Game Reserve in Botswana, while my husband drove us back to our campsite. Khutse is in the Kalahari, which is pretty flat, so sitting on the roof of a truck makes you feel like you can see for miles. The tracks are mostly sandy but turn into solid white calcrete, as you cross the occasional salt pans. Scrubby brush, generally no more than 5′ tall, is surrounded by long grasses. As I said, it seems like you can see for miles, but its amazing what can be hiding on those empty looking salt pans and in that scrubby brush. As we wound round a bend, 3 huge eland bulls appeared, trotting fast. These are the biggest antelope (a large male can rival the weight of a bull bison) and in many respects they look like a cross between an antelope and a cow. Our paths were intersecting, and as we slowed down the eland speeded up. They approached the track (just wide enough for 1 vehicle) and leapt it like star show-jumpers. I had this amazing view of 3 massive eland leaping higher than the bonnet (hood) of our truck, so they were nearly level with me as I sat on the roof. It was like one of those slow motion movies – they arced over the track, landing lightly and trotting away. Completely unbelievable for such a huge animal – I’ll never forget it.
Join me in a week for my next story – #WishIHadAPhotoWednesday!