Sitting here in a bush camp in Block C of the Reserve and listening to a baboon barking down the way along the banks of the Rio Lugenda, probably at a passing Leopard or probably nothing at all, the air is blessed with a small breeze warm to the touch, the sounds are minimal as the noon hour approaches and most birds and the like that have chattered all morning are looking for a cool place to sit and cool while the noon day heat passes. Januario begins the noonday radio broadcast to the other various camps searching for news, listening to the latest and noting the different requests by others, supplies needed for the various camps stretched up and down the 200 kilometer stretch of Lugenda River that makes up Block C and then to the north in Block A to the border of Tanzania, beyond the American owned Block B. A total distance of over 400 Kilometers that will take you just over four days of very hard driving to navigate end to end..
Its warm but the breeze has started up, hopefully to continue on into the night. Looking out across the river, very low at this time of year and at this particular spot, “Lichenge Camp”, its approximately a quarter to a half mile wide. The main channel keeps to the middle and fingers still hold water going in and out around sand bars and banks that have only come to be seen this month as the water recedes. Four Kudu cows come to drink on the far side as well as a family of warthogs. I’m no stranger to them as they are regulars and often spook each other coming and going down for their afternoon sip.
I think of the Bat Hawk we saw the night before as I look down off the bank to the floor of the river below the camp, where as we waded and talked a young Bull Elephant chased us up the bank to the dinning room showing us just how close we can get to nature here.
Not a manmade sound can be heard, only a dove calling and the splash of a Kingfisher fishing for his supper out in front. The Kudu and Wart hogs have returned up the far bank and drifted into the bush to places unknown to me. I look and listen but there is only silence for now as the sun lights the sides of the mountains of granite to my right and a black tail kite floats past.