After a spectacular lightning show and no rain last night, we were up at our usual 5:00 AM packing up and getting ready to walk at 7:00 AM. Just before we set out, elephants started rumbling and trumpeting. Amanda assumed it was because of us and the fact that they weren’t too happy we were in their area.
We were soon walking in a very thick forest and low-lying grass and bush which made travel a bit slower. We walked in single file with eyes wide open looking for anything that could be lurking in the undergrowth. There were a lot of elephant and giraffe tracks around, but with the bush, it was difficult to see them unless we were very close. A lone giraffe suddenly appeared before us and started immediately running, and within seconds he was out of sight behind the trees. We also saw zebra, kudu, and eland all sporting their Tsavo red soil coats. Even our camels now are red (as well as our tents and anything else that touches the rich red soil). Somehow, Matura and Tatty have managed to keep their original colour, though. We are all wondering what their secret is.
We arrived at a clearing that was a perfect campsite and had just started our ritual of determining the spot for our tents and then the unloading of the camels when John suddenly started yelling “Twende!” (let’s go!) and running through camp. We all grabbed our backpacks and left quickly not knowing quite why. At that same time Karasha, Robin and Bev heard an elephant start to rumble very close to where they were standing - naturally, they thought we were leaving because of the elephant. With all the commotion, the camels also picked up on the nervous energy and a few broke from their line and at one point, we had 4 different groups instead of two tethered together. Mixed bedlam continued for about half a kilometre and then both the camels and the walkers returned to their accustomed pace. As it turned out, John had arrived and had seen an African killer bee nest and the bees had also seen him! These bees can get very agitated just by seeing you depending on how much honey may be in the hive and/or babies, will go on the attack. One was already following John, and with two walkers very allergic, we needed to get out of the area quickly!! The elephant was a secondary concern! Karasha announced he would be returning to the hive later to get honey. Masai are very skilled in gathering honey and can sometimes gather bucketfuls from one hive. We’ll be back at camp cheering him on from afar!
We carried on for another kilometer setting up camp in the thick bush close to a pond where we hope wildlife will visit later in the day.
The heat continues with temperatures once again reaching 38 degrees and very high humidity. Hydration is key and for now, we are relaxing, sitting in the shade and rehydrating.