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Kian Barker
Shakabarker Tours

Kian Barker



The Caffeine Effect

Greetings and Salutations,

I have coined a new safari term: the Caffeine Effect. Now on all our Big Five Safari we do a little breakfast stop. This is usually on one of the more topographical locations. There are one or two of these spots in both Imfolosi and Hluhluwe or collectively HIP that was once HUP. These aesthetic breakfast spots are simply a must, unless we are doing fried eggs and bacon. This intravenous cholesterol option usually requires more of a sheltered "from the wind" option. Meaning we would be snuck away in a little picnic spot sheltered by wind-breaking trees. Fortunately good quality caffeine is available at both locations and the caffeine always has the desired effect on these occasions.

The real caffeine effect of the morning cheese and pastrami sandwiches with coffee is at the lower end of the "caffeine effect". I am talking or writing about the massive almost globular intravenous effect, almost too much to handle, eye popping, brain buzzing "caffeine effect", it is big and fairly rare event. And believe me, although it might be possible to go looking for this effect, best not, because when it happens it is enough and lasts a little longer than the average espresso. I am looking at maybe a double espresso that followed a cappuccino!?

More recently we were all subject to a good shot of this "caffeine effect". When I say a good shot I mean it, literally and figuratively. The effects were long lasting and my predictions of those present would still have residual traces, indelibly imprinted for life. Our "caffeine effect" encounter took place after a good sizzling braai, thereafter we aimed ourselves in the direction of one final loop in the Park. Late afternoon can be a little slow in the IMfolozi Park. So after disturbing a couple of twitchers that were waiting for a Marico sunbird to reappear and complained that they would have to wait another half hour we followed the road towards Mpila camp. Not far down the road we encountered a parked safari vehicle. This vehicle made way for us to get a closer look at what they were viewing. As we did this an elephant cow swung around the front of their vehicle and "flashed us" from no more than 5 meters. She had great big scary ears and angry eyes.

Well in this situation there is not much you can do, apart from not aggravating the elephant any further. Further aggravation would have placed us in a "caffeine effect" zone that few would have experienced or be able to handle. Fortunately this cow was fairly good natured by elephant standards and after making her presence and personal boundary well known to us she retreated, and we were left wide eyed and pinching every sphincter, wondering if we had all packed spare underwear!

Needless to say we all experienced the "caffeine effect". The effects were long lasting and conversation was brisk until we returned to St. Lucia. Even some of those on this trip that had been in some of the Kruger Park luxury lodges were more than satisfied with our HIP safari. As although the variety in the north is good, being in the right place at the right time is what can make a "caffeine" safari.

Hasta la vista

The Knait Whrydah in the day.

Posted by Kian Barker

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