Last Day

It was an elephant kind of day. Our morning walking route kept bumping into elephants, and we had to keep skirting them at a respectable and respectful distance. A small, but obvious, part of the elephant population does not have tusks in South Luangwa. In earlier decades, elephants were heavily poached in the area. A genetic anomaly became a selected trait, as elephants without tusks did not attract the poachers’ attentions. After dodging elephants all morning, it seems that the population is making a good comeback.

By the time we return for brunch, the plumbing is restored – hurray! After brunch, I quickly get my bag organized and packed. I want to spend as much of this afternoon goofing off and not fretting about my bag.

Our evening drive takes us to the nesting colonies of bee eaters, tucked into the tall sandy banks along the river. The noise and profusion of flying color is enchanting – I sat watching until it was nearly dark. Below the colony, the hippos are crowding together in the few remaining deeper pools in the river. I’m sure that they will be happy to spread out once the rains begin. There’s lots of grunting and yawning – a great showing of teeth and tonsils to prove who’s the bigger boss of the pool.

Chef George outdoes himself tonight with a fabulous outdoor Mongolian barbecue, complete with a short stand over a fire that can accommodate four woks at once. It’s like being in the middle of a cooking show. The food is delicious, the camp lovely, and we are very sad that we must go. We feed the frogs one last feast before we crawl into bed, the alarm set for 4:30 a.m.

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