Okavango - Page 4

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Baboon Camp

Home, sweet


Cape starling
mobbing a
black mamba

(see Note 1)


View from camp

Savanna scene

Swimming hole

Derek stuck
in the mud

This is a
job for ...

... Carol and
Lisbeth ...

while the guys
read Freak
Brothers comics

Cogito ergo

Two T-bird

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Note 1. One cool Winter night I did the unthinkable by sleeping without a mosquito net. Next to my pillow was my trusty flashlight that I kept handy in case I needed to shoo off any hyenas.

In the middle of the night I awoke to the sound of the flashlight falling on the floor. Half conscious, I rolled over to the side of the bed and started groping around. But somehow it occurred to me that maybe the flashlight didn't merely fall off the bed.

I pulled up my hand, got out of bed, walked to the front of the hut, and lit a lantern. I was stunned to see a large black mamba draped over the corner of the bed right where I had been reaching for the flashlight. Having an innate primal fear of snakes, especially ones whose venom can kill you in minutes, I bolted out of the hut and spent the rest of the night at the far end of camp in Lloyd's hut.

The next day, when returning from watching the baboons, I heard a bird chattering and found a Cape starling harassing a black mamba in a tree next to my hut. I grabbed my camera and snapped these photos of what most probably was the same snake that had visited me the night before. Never again did I sleep in that hut.

The moral of this story is don't sleep in the African bush without a mosquito net - even when there are no mosquitos.

ps: One of the many reasons why I enjoy living in Puerto Rico is the absence of snakes.