Night drives in Africa are generally filled with weird and wonderful animals. Often we think that all animals go to bed at about the same time us humans head off to Club Duvet. In fact for African animals, Club Duvet is a day activity, the night is for being out and about. In the case of other animals, they never seem to sleep and finally others are active into the late evening, sleep during the middle of the night, then get going in the early hours of the morning.
Zebra generally feed for 16 hours per day. Although quite a gastric feat, it relates to their digestive system and plays an important role in the relationship they have in 'managing' their grasslands. So through a typical night drive there are animals doing all sorts of things, some maybe resting, others hunting and other looking for greener pastures. And on this one particular April night drive we had a rather strange encounter with a passing animal while we were enjoying a cup of hot chocolate at 22h00 in the total darkness.
One of my guests, hot chocolate in hand mentioned that there was a kudu walking up the road, where we had stopped and was about to pass our vehicle. Our safari vehicle was between us and the road. As a precautionary measure and armed with years of guiding, I popped my head around the back of the vehicle, but carefully retracted my head and asked everyone to 'stay still, remain where they were'. Passing our vehicle, and illuminated by my torch, was a very fat and healthy black rhino. Luckily one of the rehabilitated black rhino, generally rhino with a calmer disposition. He was heading off to greener browsing! Needless to say everyone heeded my instruction.
After finishing our hot chocolate we headed back towards St. Lucia with a lot of excited people onboard my vehicle. It was one of those strange nights when very little happens until the last hour. Hyena and leopard graced our return journey, plus a couple of buffalo. Finish strong and we did!
Hasta la vista!
The Knait Whrydah