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Kian Barker
Shakabarker Tours

Kian Barker



Snort Like Thunder

Greetings and Salutations,
A number of years ago there was a sign on the mountain pass between Manzini and Mbabane. It read "Drive like lightning and crash like thunder". Pretty descriptive for Africa and pertinent as well. About a year ago I passed between the two cities to discover the condition of the road was much better but the sign was no longer to be seen. During the first part of October we had some good thunder in the first week of October and a notable amount of rain. 58mm - which all equates to a good start to our spring season. Although I am happy there has not been much rain since this stunning spring rain that has flushed the landscape to verdant life.
And since we are on the topic of green landscape, doing a night drive in a recently burnt grassland is usually  more productive than any other area. But at some stage during our nocturnal forays into a darkened and mysterious landscape it is necessary to stop for hot chocolate. One of my rules is that we use a couple of sites on a regular to ensure the smell of humans is strong and persistent. But many of the guests are unaware of this so I often get questioned about how many times I have been chased around while trying to consume a cup of hot chocolate. Well I mentioned one or two incidents that happens way before Pa fell off the bus and then we continued with our regular conversation.
The wind was fairly strange at the time and it was very overcast. But it was a gusty unsettled wind, the type you get during a stormy. So as we chatted I heard what I thought was a snort. Asking the opinion of my guests they said it was thunder. As a precautionary measure I decided to check the area, that was totally dark. One of those night that you can hardly see more than 10 meters. But I accessed my torch from the opposite side of the vehicle, choosing to gain access to my maglite over the passenger seat. A little fancy footwork was required. Armed with my maglite I searched the area and came up empty. I nervously agreed that it was thunder, but my intuition told me otherwise.
Once the hot chocolate was warming our belly's we headed off into the darkness to search for more nocturnal activity. On our return journey we passed the area where we had stopped for hot chocolate and out of the cover of the surrounding trees four rhino appeared. While we were having a hot beverage these four rhino had been very close. It transpired that there where two males that were having a little scrap over a large female. The snort must have been when one of the males had warned the second male that it was his female and he should move off. We were all impressed with the rhino and collectively agreed that rhino "snort like thunder"!!
Hasta la vista
the Knait Wrydah @ nite
Posted by Kian Barker

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