August 21, 2009

Tracking elephants by Mark Gunn

Setting out on a walk from the camp in search of the elephants that had been heard at about 5pm. Our depatrure at 6:10 was as result of the low light at this time of the year at that time of the day. We found some tracks and followed them for a while but we lost them and they weren't very fresh anyway. We decided to do a long walk on the off chance of hearing them , we could then move in to view the elephants. a long walk and no elephants later we were very far from camp and breakfast was in a few minutes. We headed down a drainage line to make our way to the nearest road that would take us back to camp. on the way we passed a rocky outcrop as this was a good opportunity to look around. Half way up David, one of the students called us back to investigate elephant dung that was still warm. Warm dung = close animal! Two spotters on the rocks soon whistled and pointed toward the East. All of us climbed up onto the rock and lo and behold there they were just 30m away. The Mopani was too thick for us to follow them directly so we skirted around toward the south but we lost contact and had a long walk back, yet our reward was a hearty breakfast.
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