Swampy Beginning, Scenic Ending - November 21
We left camp in Lualenyi Conservancy at 7:00 AM sharp. We had been advised to avoid an area not far away as it was a large swampy area that would most certainly cause us difficulties. Our plan was to go north of the area and follow the hills until we passed it. Again, zebras watched us leave, and elephants were seen quite some distance away. We came out into what appeared to be a very lush field, so we headed across, unaware that we were entering the exact area we were trying to avoid. Halfway across, we started to sink into the mud and knew instantly that if we were sinking, the camels most certainly would be sinking deeper and faster. All attention turned to them as sure enough the inevitable started to happen. The Drovers were working so hard to coax them forward. Several sank quite deep into the mud and needed extra help, including one camel that slid and sank simultaneously, which required an immediate and fast removal of his load and a lot of coaching to get him standing again. We held our breath at times hoping all would be fine, and slowly, the drovers managed to get them across, we hoped, unscathed. The final steps were through a very small but muddy stream that would have normally been no problem, but the camels were a little skittish by then. Eventually, they all advanced to dryer land.
We realized that these 17 camels have become an integral part of our team. Each with their own personalities and amazing qualities- they are incredible animals, however a broken leg for one of them would have been catastrophic. We have truly bonded with them and the thought of losing one is absolutely heartbreaking.
We continued on and took our first rest break watching elephants on the surrounding hills. Huge red soil dyed giants strolling through the lush emerald green hills were impossible to miss. What a wonderful way to watch such majestic animals.
We advanced through the hills arriving at a dam and looked back to see where we had walked the previous days - spectacular!
17 kms later we arrived at camp still in elephant country. Our usual unloading of the camels then setup ensued however we soon noticed one of the.camels named Keno was not walking well. Barabara administered a cortisone injection, penicillin, and a menthol balm and now we wait fingers crossed for his recovery - hoping everyone can send their healing thoughts his way please!