There’s the constant bickering of a pair of drongos not wanting to share their tree perch or the insects they’re catching in the glare of the floodlight. And then there’s the first liquid call of a doublebanded sandgrouse, weep weep wieuw. Then another. Soon the air is alive with them, swooping down to the water for a sundowner before taking off again in a staggered chorus, first one small group then another.
‘Renoster!’ shouts an overexcited voice and a quivering finger points stage left. A few foreigners behind us shush her, but they probably don’t understand what she’s saying. Sure enough, a big black rhino lumbers into view to take centre stage under the floodlights. A clutch of impala make way for him and he drinks, sipping first here and then there until he’s happy with the particular cocktail mix.
For about ten minutes, there’s a hush as we have the privilege of watching this strange prehistoric beast in his natural habitat. Then, as silently as he arrived, he’s gone. Our day is complete.
(To find out about the threats rhinos are facing in southern Africa see here and here.)
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