The adventure around Malawi was the first time Mother and Sister Wolfrider and I had been on a holiday together in over 20 years. The last time, Pappa Wolfrider was also present and it was a short weekend trip to northern France; where I lived for while as a child and where Sister Wolfrider was hatched. Apparently we bought her from the hypermarket, Mammoth, later she questioned this but we kept up the pretence. It’s where babies came from in France, everyone knows that. It was a blissful experience for my sister and I to join Mother Wolfrider on her first time south of the equator! At the age of, well, a healthy a age…I think she expected a fanfare, or at least a short message from the flight deck announcing our passing over the invisible line. I hadn’t realised that it was such a momentous occasion for her and in fact, I think I was asleep. If I had known, I at least would have packed a celebratory box of Maltesers!
I don’t think the Maltesers would have come close to the unforgettable experience that she had with her offspring, when fifty elephants entered our camp. You always dream of having the kind of experiences on safari that really are something to write home about. The three swiss chaps that went to the same spot as us just the week before didn’t see a single elephant and the highlight of their trip, we were told, was killing their own chicken before dinner – something they had apparently never done and I think they found the whole experience of killing and eating something, a rather humbling and important one.
So, within 30 seconds of entering Vwaza National Park in the north-west territory of Malawi, bordering Zambia, we were met with not just one, but two, massively oversized, humongous, healthy looking, great big backsides. Giant African elephant bottoms were staring us in the face from the bush. Quietly stationary, we gazed at what possibly were the largest arses we have ever seen. They then silently disappeared into the foliage. Amazing.
We slowly set up camp. Slowly, mainly because there were dozens of lazy hippo, warthog families, baboon babies, diverse bird life and various members of the antelope family wandering around the watering hole where we had just pitched up to. Putting up a tent wasn’t a priority when things like cracking open a bottle of gin, pondering dinner menus and hogging the binoculars were far more essential. We did however, manage to erect together a couple of tents, untidily throw our belongings inside and then methodically work through more important duties…”binocularing” and gazing at the earths most erotic of creatures, the hippo – what? Such healthy curves…
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