Saturday, September 11, 2004

Masai Mara, Kenya II

I made straight for the leopard, watching the last thin crescent of moon drowning in a brilliant pink dawn.

I spotted her silhouette before sunrise, saw the zebra foal still hanging like a slab of beef in the tree, spotted her cub on the limb. She eventually tried to carry mom’s kill down the tree, losing it halfway. it fell with the sound of an enormous wet rag.

Things went a little pear-shaped in the afternoon though. I somehow got the bright idea of inching down the steep river bank for a better look. Instead, I found myself on a steep side slope, with the rear wheels losing traction and inches away from toppling over the bank into the Telek River.

This all suddenly seemed like a very bad idea. I finally got the BBC’s tracker’s attention, convinced him to lash a rope to his bumper, and help pull me out. I thought that right up to the time my rear wheels slid another six inches toward the edge. It was like a bad movie, but with him pulling, an Indian minivan driver encouraging and me swearing, I somehow backed out.


But not without a good soaking in the sweat of raw fear.

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