Ever since my childhood, I watch documentaries that takes place in the savannahs of Africa. When I went to Masai Mara for a safari, I imagined scenes from those and the voice of Tarkan (a local popstar) in my ear from the documentary “Great Migration”.
“They’ll either migrate or die… They advance despite the dangers…”
In the midst of the jungle I settled in my tent. Don’t misunderstand when I say tent. Even though the outside is basically rags, inside it’s no different from a luxurious hotel. From a canopy bed to a bathtub everything is there but lights. Only a flashlight for the night.
And it’s finally night. It’s dark outside. Really dark. Not a single spot of light. Utter, pitch-black darkness…
Outside my tent, there was a native of Masai with a spear in his hand. His duty; to wait until morning and protect me from wild animals. I zipped my tent and went straight to sleep with weariness of the journey.
It was around 3 a.m. that I woke up to a rustling. An animal which I sense to be very large was pacing around my tent, growlingly. With great fear I called the native outside.
-“ Ima! Are you there? What’s goin on?”
Ima, who I assume to be 16 and around 45 kilos, answers back.
-“ Don’t worry madam… I’m here”
Of course there is nothing to worry about! I’d laugh at the insane animal attempting to attack me while brave Ima is on my doorstep.
I listened the sounds coming from outside my tent while I shrank in my bed, afraid, that night and every night I stayed there. Not sure why I wasn’t afraid of a snake, a scorpion or such biting me – which was likely to happen – but I was more concerned with an elephant knocking down the tent. Howling wolves, roaring lions and screeching hyenas were just honking cars in a city.
In fact my fear was not at all misplaced. We’re talking about a lion here. The king can gulp down a giraffe when he wants to. Can’t it rip my tent and eat me up as an amuse bouche? I mean, the guy can tear an elephant to pieces time to time,wouldn’t it use Ima’s spear as a toothpick.
Luckily I didn’t end up in the stomach of any wild animals that night or after. And I haven’t forgotten my hero Ima.
Ooo I almost forgot. We found out our rustler from the first night. When I got out of my tent in the morning, I saw the biggest, single piece of poop I’ve ever seen in my life. Our nightly visitor hippo, who of course left his evidence outside my tent, was watching us from the river near the camp.