Searching for Game on Foot at Phinda Game Reserve, South Africa
Bush walks on foot are now part of most Safari/Game excursions but not 10 years ago. Pat and rangers escorted us in Chitwa and that was nerve wracking enough (we’re wimps…what can I tell you.). Not overly enthused when Pat said today the Phinda ranger was taking us on another bush walk. Too bad nobody photographed the looks on our faces. Up to now, Pat had stressed don’t walk to and from the lodges without escorts, cautioned and watched on game drives if one of us had to pee…for that, he and armed rangers would look in all directions and then said, “make it fast and jump back into the 4 x 4″…told us to keep arms and legs in the vehicle at all times…and now he wanted us to walk out there again? ‘Tis another puzzlement but I’d trust Pat with my life. Oh yes…I did trust Pat with my life.
One of the many “Pat” stories that he recently shared with us was that this big game hunter is afraid of exactly three things: Killer African bees; the Black Mamba Snake and Cape Buffalos.
– Killer African bees are more likely to attack a perceived threat and attack relentlessly in larger numbers;
– The black mamba is the largest venomous snake in Africa and can strike up to 12 times in a row. One bite from a black mamba can inject enough venom to kill up to 10 grown men; and
– The Cape Buffalo can weigh up to 900 kg/1,900 lbs, has an unpredictable nature, and is notorious among game hunters as a very dangerous animal. Wounded animals will even ambush and attack pursuers and is alleged to kill more people in Africa than any other animal.
Fortunately, no Black Mambas, Killer Bees or Cape Buffalo on the bush walk but we stuck to the armed ranger like glue…just in case…although, on second thought, what was he going to do…shoot a swarm of Killer Bees?
A short game drive followed by a sunset river cruise on the Mzinene River was a perfect end to the day. There’s nothing like watching for game with a delicious glass of South African wine in your hand and watching the brilliant sun set over the river…View image… That’s what I call living…